You can feel more informed and in control during the home-buying process by getting organized with a checklist of things to do and information you’ll need before you embark on your home search. This checklist will help you navigate the home-buying process:
Hit the Books
One of the confusing things about buying a home is the language brokers, mortgage lenders, and others use during the process. They use acronyms you may not know or lingo that you don’t necessarily understand, and that can have a significant impact on your finances and your ability to buy the home you want. Find a trusted resource, like the Freddie Mac Glossary of Terms, and study up.
There’s no question that today’s home-buying market is a competitive place. One of the best things you can do to help yourself out in these situations is to get pre-approved for your mortgage. This puts you in a stronger negotiating position and helps you better understand how much house you can afford. You can also get quotes from a few different mortgage lenders, which will help you find more competitive pricing and potentially save money.
Budget for Extra Costs
Once you figure out what kind of mortgage you can afford and your down payment, you might think you’re out of the woods when it comes to tallying up costs. However, there are several other costs you have to pay to buy a home. They include lender fees, closing costs, home inspection charges, insurance, and additional unexpected costs associated with buying a home. Avoid financial surprises by doing your research and budgeting for these costs and the actual home's cost.
There’s no question that buying a home for the first time can be a confusing (and even frightening) prospect. However, it should also be exciting and allow you to have a little fun imagining your future in that house. Some preparation can help you make a plan so that you can enjoy the anticipation while still keeping everything in check.