5 Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Home

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buying your first home in st louis MO

As a first-time home buyer, you know you are in for a challenge. After all, there are so many things to consider when buying a home, let alone for the first time. There seem to be innumerable steps and requirements, even when the process is just starting. You might also be a little apprehensive about making any mistake. It can be pretty costly, and it will be hard to recover financially if you make a wrong decision.

However, there are some benefits to being a first-time home buyer. These benefits are created to encourage more people to purchase or get into the real estate market. 

You have to consider your long-term goals as a first-time home buyer. But there are a lot of things to consider after that as well. The following are the 5 things you need to consider before buying your first home.

HOW IS YOUR FINANCIAL HEALTH?

The first thing to do is to audit your finances. This audit will tell you if you are ready to buy your first home or if you need to wait a little longer. So, take a look at your savings. See if you have an emergency savings account that can last at least three months of living expenses. Buying a home involves major upfront costs, including the down payment. Having money for those is important and it also serves as your emergency fund.

You also need to look at how much you spend every month. This will help tell you how much you will be able to allocate to mortgage payments. Account for everything, from utilities, food, and clothing to entertainment and retirement savings. Lastly, check your credit. You need good credit to qualify for a home loan and you also have to pay your bills on time.

WHAT TYPE OF HOME WILL SUIT YOU BEST?

You have several options when buying a new home. There is the traditional single-family home, a townhouse, a condominium, a duplex, a multifamily building, or a cooperative. Your decision will depend on what your goals are as a homeowner. So you have to determine what kind of home will help you in realizing the goals that you have. Keep in mind as well that there are pros and cons to each type of home, no matter which one you decide to go for.

There is another option that you can look into. That’s the fixer-upper, a property available at a lower price, although there’s a catch. A fixer-upper requires major renovation work before it can turn into your ideal home. Think carefully before buying one because it might cost more and take more time to prepare than what you’re ready for.

HOW MUCH MORTGAGE ARE YOU QUALIFIED FOR?

Before you can purchase there is one important detail to note. You should know how much mortgage you are qualified to get. How much is a lender willing to give you so you can make your purchase? What if you expect around $400,000, but the lender only gives you $300,000? It can be a problem for you since it’s less than what you expected. Several factors can affect what you’ll get, such as your income, how long you’ve been at your job, and how much debt you have.

So what should you do? You should try to get pre-approved for a loan first. Mortgage pre-approval is often a requirement by sellers before they even entertain any offer. Look around for a lender and compare their fees and interest rates before deciding on one.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU AFFORD?

A lot of first-time homebuyers make the mistake of borrowing too much. When a bank says they can lend you $300,000, it doesn’t mean you should actually borrow that amount. Some buyers commit that mistake and then end up with little to no budget for other expenses after their monthly mortgage payments.

To know how much of a loan you’ll need, look beyond the monthly payment. Consider the total cost of the home as well as the homeowner’s insurance and the property taxes in the neighborhood you chose. You must also consider the amount you’ll spend to maintain the house and the closing costs. Lastly, you can shop for a home that costs less than the loan you were approved for.

WHO WILL SERVE AS YOUR GUIDE THROUGHOUT THE HOMEBUYING PROCESS?

Who is going to guide you throughout the home-buying process? A real estate agent is a professional who can serve as your guide. They will help you find homes that fall in your price range and meet what you’re looking for. The agent will then accompany you in viewing those homes. 

Once you’ve decided on which home to buy, the agent will assist you in the buying process. That includes making an offer, getting a loan, and completing the necessary paperwork. Working with a good real estate agent will protect you from any potential risks during the whole homebuying process.

If you’re from St. Louis, Missouri, and you are a first-time home buyer yourself, then you should get the services of trusted professionals. St. Louis Mortgage Consultants is the most trusted mortgage broker in St. Luis MO, and the surrounding areas.

If you want to learn more about us and our programs and how we can help you buy your first home, please get in touch with us today. You’ll benefit from our combined 30 years in the mortgage industry, and we’ll make the process as smooth as possible until you’re a proud homeowner!

St Louis Mortgage Consultants

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We’re available 7 days a week. Give us a call at (636) 861-3279.