Four Tips for Buying Your First Home

*This is a collaborative sponsored guest post.   As hubby and I are in all the throes of trying to purchase our first home, we&...

*This is a collaborative sponsored guest post.

As hubby and I are in all the throes of trying to purchase our first home, we've been trying to learn as much as possible about the process while not losing our minds. And let me tell you - my mind is about gone. Hopefully this post will also be one that is useful if you're in the same boat.

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you can make as a couple or individual. As scary as it can be to do this, there are a few things you should also do when it comes to buying a home. Don’t worry- they are all pretty easy and will help you in the long run.

Educate Yourself
When speaking with a few friends who purchased homes before me, they offered a lot of great advice. While it may seem easy to find the home of your dreams and purchase it, you should really educate yourself on the entire process no matter what is happening. Two ways you can do this and know that you are ready to buy a home is feeling confident about your decision making. Sometimes when you are ready to buy a home, things can move a lot quicker then you think and you have to make a very big decision within a few hours. If you do your homework and understand the various steps of the mortgage process, you’ll feel confident on the decision no matter what happens. Another good point is looking for programs that make it easier for you to afford a home. An example is a Fannie Mae’s Home Ready mortgage that lets you put down as little as 3 percent as long as you take one of their education courses.

When it comes to buying a home, it can be easy to think you can afford the biggest and the best. Your bottom line is actually more about what you are truly comfortable and what you can truly afford rather than what a lender will give you. Sometimes we’ve learned that these numbers can be surprisingly different. Have a long hard talk about what you feel is a good number and never go above that number. Of course with a very competitive market and multiple offers being presented (sometimes even a biding war), it can be tempting to spend more than you really should. Really take a good hard look at your numbers so you don’t get in over your head and become more ‘house poor’ then you originally thought.

Wish List
The home of your dreams may not be the first home you purchase. That being said, it’s good to have a top five wish list of items that you don’t want to settle on when it comes to purchasing your home. This can be anything from a two-car garage, four bedrooms, and an open concept. Think of all of these must have items when looking at home.

Image: Saw Trax

Another good point is when touring homes, see if there is anything you can do yourself to help save money. For example, as an avid reader, I would love to have a gorgeous bookshelf to display all my books but not many homes offered this option. A girlfriend suggested I try doing it myself which wouldn’t that be difficult because my husband is such a handyman. He has wood tools to create the bookshelf I’ve been dreaming of and found many of his tools at a local shop called Saw Trax. They offer cutting solutions for several customers in the Atlanta area. From specialized hand cutting tools, saw kits, and their most popular product the vertical panel saw, you can find anything you need to help your projects come to life. They also offer a new lineup of carts such as dolly max, panel express, and scoop dollys to help us move our projects into our home! I really appreciate all the innovation products that normally are not seen in the material handling marketplace, plus their customer service is extremely helpful when asking the experts on what items to use for a particular project.

Look At Credit Score
Did you know that without having a healthy credit score it can be extremely difficult to qualify to meet most mortgage loans. Having a high score can earn a lower interest rate which, besides saving thousands of dollars over the life of your loan, it helps you qualify for a larger loan. Having a little extra can come in handy when the market can be so tight. A score of 800 or above is considered to be excellent, but most scores fall between 600-750.

Hopefully these four home buying tips will help you create a well thought out decisions for your first home. This is such an exciting time for you, your family, and your future so you want to make sure your decision is one that you are excited about, affordable, and will be happy with for the next few years to come.

What are some home-buying tips you can share?

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