Now that the economy, the workforce, and the housing market are back up you may be thinking about purchasing your first home. If you do not believe me, consider that just last year, in 2012, California experienced a great boom in home sales. From the year prior, 2011, they were up more than 25 percent! The housing market is coming back and for some people that means that now is the time to sell a home, and therefore there are more homes on the market to buy.
We all know that the housing bubble burst back in 2008. The Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, and the loans that they provide are more important than ever for someone looking to take out a mortgage considering what the housing market and home loan lenders have gone through in the years since.
As someone who has spent a great deal of time considering and planning to buy a home, I offer to you some suggested steps to buying your first home.
1. Use this wonderful thing called the internet to do some research.
Before you even begin to consider a property search or contact home loan lenders you should learn all you can about the home buying and home loan process. Are there first time home buyer requirements? Is there a first time home buyers program in your area? If you do not look, you will never know.
2. Determine ahead of time what kind of costs you are going to incur in the process of purchasing a home and budget for them.
Closing costs and down payments should all be budgeted ahead of time. Home loan lenders are going to be your key to taking out a mortgage and purchasing your first home, but not everything can be rolled in to your mortgage.
Consider that you may be paying way more in closing costs than a real estate agent will at first admit to. Closing costs are more like upfront costs, and you want to know what to expect when you are sitting down to budget out your first time home purchase. For example, origination fees, title fees, settlement fees, taxes, insurance, homeowner association fees…these are all expenses that get are rolled in to your closing costs.
3. Make an educated choice for your first home.
Looking for a new home can be so exciting that after your first home tour you may be worried about missing out on your chance, or you may even be pressured to make an offer right away. Whatever you do, make sure to visit multiple homes and keep a record of how you evaluate each one. As soon as you leave the home give it a rating on a scale from one to ten and write it down. Write down any concerns you have, things you liked, and things you did not like. Not relying on your memory is a good way to approach this process. Refernce materials.