First-time buyers and even those buying their second or third house face a tougher challenge than their parents or grandparents ever dreamed of. First-time buyers looking at homes for sale in Greensboro, NC are often already burdened with student loan debts, a high cost of living, and low wages, not to mention housing prices that are higher than ever. The hardest part of buying a home is trying to secure the necessary financing. Here are six tips to make the process a little smoother and get you into your dream home.
1. Know Your Budget
Buying a new home represents a significant financial investment. Not only will you have a mortgage payment, you will have insurance premiums, yearly taxes and repairs. If you are not sure how to set a budget that takes all this into account, you can always talk to a credit counselor. They can create a working budget based on your income that will show you just how much of a payment you can comfortably afford. You should never buy a house with a payment outside of their recommendations, as this is a sure way to set yourself up for failure.
2. Have Your Documents Ready
Buying any one of the homes for sale in Greensboro, NC is all about the paperwork. When you meet with a credit counselor or a loan officer from the bank or financing company, you must have proof of employment and proof of income. This can come from paystubs, annual W-2 tax documents or bank statements. If you have other debts such as car loans and credit cards, you should be prepared to include them in your loan application.
3. Know Your Credit Score
Nothing can be more embarrassing than sitting in front of the loan officer only to find your application declined because you have a low credit score. There are a number of ways you can find your credit score (FICO) for free. Bear in mind anything under 580 is considered to be poor and can make it difficult to secure a mortgage. Anything over 720 is considered excellent and will get you the best rates available.
4. Your Down Payment
Although there are a number of government-sponsored home loan services that do not require a down payment, most traditional lenders require 10%. If you are planning to secure a traditional loan from a bank or mortgage company, be sure you have at least this much in the bank. Not only does this show good faith on your part, it puts you in a good position to make an on the spot offer if one of the homes for sale in Greensboro, NC catches your eye.
5. Know Your Lender
Take the time to carefully research the lenders in your area. Talk to banks and mortgage companies. The idea is to see who has the better offer. This means in terms of interest rates, down payments and closing costs.
6. Patience Is a Virtue
Of all these, perhaps patience is the most important tip for the first-time home buyer. Financing a home is not something you can hurry. While you can walk into a car dealership and drive out with a loan in a couple of hours, getting everything in place to finance a home can take weeks.
Smith Marketing’s preferred lender is Atlantic Bay. You can contact them at 336-314-1300.