First-time homebuyers should be excited – a home is a valuable asset representing a significant life milestone. Nevertheless, purchasing a home for the first time is undoubtedly a nerve-racking experience, especially in today’s challenging real estate market. Here are some homebuyer tips to make navigating today’s market less stressful.
Explore Financial Opportunities
As a first-time buyer, it’s important to set a realistic budget, have plenty of savings and consider that mortgages usually require at least a 620 credit score and a 36% debt-to-income ratio. Of course, most first-time homebuyers (who are typically young) do not always meet these requirements.
Luckily, available homebuyer programs and loans provide lower down payments, lenient credit obligations and closing cost assistance. These programs include government-backed loans, conventional mortgages with low down payments/down payment assistance, fixer-upper loan programs and state and local first-time buyer programs.
Check all the qualification criteria – some loans may even apply to single parents or displaced homemakers who only had a home with a former spouse. Looking more in-depth at each type of program softens the anxiety of financing a new home, allowing one to investigate other pertinent factors and options.
Prioritizing Wants and Needs
When purchasing a home for the first time, buyers often believe that financing is the top priority and that a wish list is not as relevant to the overall process. Surprisingly, the First Time Homebuyer Metro Affordability Report discovered that one’s home wish list and desired location carry as much impact and importance as one’s budget.
Creating a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves helps one research and evaluate homes more objectively, as it is challenging to find one home that checks off every box. Permitting oneself to be flexible allows the first-time buyer to be open to more options that might be a better fit. Likewise, even if first-time homebuyers need to compromise, it doesn’t preclude them from adding or changing certain features – like an upgraded kitchen or bathroom remodeling – later.
Location Homebuyer Tips
As the First Time Homebuyer Metro Affordability Report revealed, the preferred location is just as weighty as one’s budget and wish list. Location isn’t purely related to getting the best deal from finding the right neighborhood. There are many other vital factors to consider, such as mortgage rates and economic stability, including local trends like pricing and inventory.
Another revolutionary development to remember is remote work – with enhanced flexibility in the workplace, don’t be afraid to expand one’s search radius for homes. Remote work empowered many first-time homebuyers to purchase a home in a different state that was more aligned with their budgetary limitations.
Work with a Professional Real Estate Agent
In today’s chaotic real estate market, first-time homebuyers can benefit tremendously from the knowledge and experience of a professional. By working with a trusted advisor, you can explore all your choices and receive accurate information about the local market, helping you make the most well-informed choice.
Contact NMC today to see how we can help minimize the stress of this significant life change.