Are you ready to purchase your first house – your dream starter home? T’s an exciting time and also a time filled with anxiety. Purchasing a home is one of the largest financial decisions you’ll make in your life time and also one filled with complexities. Before perusing the web for homes that meet your criteria or scouting out open houses in your desired neighborhoods, take the time to meet with a mortgage professional to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Most seasoned real estate professionals will require a pre-approval letter prior to showing any properties. You’ll be in a better position to negotiate a sales contract with the seller if you are already approved for a mortgage.
The first step in the process is to get a handle on your expenses. Purchasing a home is an expensive undertaking and every expense should be closely watched. Reduce your monthly fixed costs as much as possible several months prior to the application process. Check out the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and select from the inexpensive cell phone plans offered by ATT.com. Don’t make any major purchasing and delay vacations or elaborate gift giving for several months.
The mortgage broker will review your income, credit history and source of funds for down payment, closing costs and reserves. Be forthcoming with all information and up to date documents that are requested to expedite the process. Make a list of all assets and attach recent statements and make a list of all debts and attach recent statements. This will expedite the application process. Be aware that the cost of owning a home far exceeds the cost of renting an apartment. All appliances and general maintenance generally consume about 2% of the value of the house each year.
A professional real estate agent will be able to steer you towards neighborhoods with homes in your price range that have historically held their value. While new construction is enticing, it’s not always the best investment. The supply of new homes on the market will generally exceed the supply of older homes on the market. Location is key. Happy house hunting!