First-Time Homebuyer’s Guide Review (Parts 1-4)
Chapter 1: Reality Check and Research
The First-Time Homebuyer’s Guide is designed to help people navigate the process with confidence using a clearly defined, step-by-step approach. So far in our home-buying journey, we’ve covered the beginning research phase. The following summary will serve as a review of Chapter 1, consisting of Parts 1 through 4. Click any Part below to go to the full article.
Buying a house is a BIG deal, whether it’s your first home or fifth move. Although no two homebuyers or situations are the same, there is a general approach that you can take in order to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Five steps define the process: Research, Shop & Compare, Find a Home, Apply and Close.
Before you decide to buy a new home, you’ll need to decide why you want to buy a new home. Taking human nature into account is essential when thinking about your first home purchase, so we’ve outlined a few good reasons and bad reasons for seeking home ownership. Bad reasons include wanting to buy a house because it sounds better than renting, and wanting to flip houses to generate a profit, a risky and difficult proposition. Good reasons include treating the home as a long-term investment, establishing regular monthly payments, enabling your creative freedom, and becoming part of a community.
Now that you’ve established why you want to buy a new home, it’s time to decide if you can buy a new home. Only you know how responsible you’ve been with money, and whether you can afford the expenses and shoulder the obligations of owning a home. Factors involved in this decision are your credit score, savings habits, debt-to-income ratio, future expenses and spending habits.
Determining the living expenses you can afford per month will give you an idea of your home’s price range. It’s useful to think in terms of worst case scenarios to give you an idea of what you can handle financially if you suddenly get unlucky. Things to consider for creating a clear financial picture include writing out your monthly budget, accounting for extra homeownership expenses and being aware of Murphy’s Law – What can go wrong, will go wrong.
In Chapter 2 of the First-Time Homebuyer’s Guide Review, we cover your loan options, methods for how to find a loan officer, and the Intuitive Loan Finder, an innovative online tool that allows you to find your perfect mortgage—FAST!