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Buying a house doesn't have to be hard.
You've done the apartment thing. Now it's time to buy your first home. As a first-time home buyer, you’ll be subjected to many new experiences such as shopping for private mortgage insurance or gathering an exhaustive list of your credit histories. We want you to understand the process. Here are some steps to make things a little easier.
It's important to do a little homework as a first-time home buyer. We’re not just talking about driving around and scouting out dream homes for sale. That’s obviously an important process, but we’re talking about doing the paperwork before you even consider making an offer.
Here are a couple of steps you’ll need to take during the preliminary “grunt” work of first-time home buying:
- Sit down and make a detailed budget with your monthly expenses against your income. This will show you how much room you have in your monthly budget for a new house payment.
- Gather all information related to your credit history, including any possible bankruptcies or foreclosures. You can be approved for some loans, like an FHA-backed or VA-backed loan, even if your credit history has been a little rocky. The important thing to remember while buying your first home is to be honest about your credit history. What you don’t disclose immediately will show up later and potentially slow the entire process.
- Understand your credit score. Allowing a bank to pull your credit and discuss your credit score can help you understand what programs are available to you. The majority of banks will do this at no charge. Making changes to your credit bureau takes time. If you need to improve your credit by 10 or 20 points to acquire a lower interest rate, the sooner you know that, the better.
Build a Solid Foundation
Once you’ve organized all the information pertaining to your financial history and income, it’s time to do some research on the house that will fit your budget. As a first-time home buyer, you’ll have options that seem attractive, but may not fit within your projected plan for a mortgage payment. It’s also important to research which type of mortgage you’ll apply for. If you need help, most lenders will help you fill out a pre-qualification form. Here is some information on pre-qualifications:
- This document is both informative and non-binding, so you can fill out several ‘pre-quals’ before committing to a bank.
- You’ll find out which mortgage options are right for you in a relatively painless way.
- It’s important to remember that pre-qualifications are not the same as pre-approvals.
Speaking with a lender before you commit to buying your first home is important. There are certain aspects to the loan approval process, like appraisals and private mortgage insurance (PMI), which you’ll need to understand before you move forward. Each loan package has different qualifications, so doing your research will go a long way before you make an initial offer.
Sign on the Dotted Lines
Once your offer is approved, it’s time for the final step. As you prepare to close your mortgage, you can prepare for your new life - in your dream home. A lot of the final documentation is handled by a dedicated team at NASB, but it’s important that you standby to answer any potential questions the bank may have before closing.
Once you’ve been approved by the lender and the real estate company, it’s time to celebrate! The process for buying your first home can be stressful, but if you follow our steps to success, you’ll be thankful for the early preparation. NASB is proud to help our customers achieve their goals by assisting with all unique mortgage needs.
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To begin the loan process, contact one of our loan consultants today. Or download our free guide today and continue learning.