A Step-by-Step Guide for First-Time Homebuyers
So, you’re wanting to buy your first home? Or, maybe you’re reading this just because your mom told you to research options for first-time homebuyers. Whatever your situation may be, it’s important to be prepared for what’s ahead.
Buying a home is exciting! Many of us dream about having our own home from a very early age. But in that daydream, we don’t picture ourselves being denied the home of our dreams because of a bad credit score. Let’s get everything in check and help make your dreams come true.
Make sure you’re ready
Buying a home is a big commitment. Before we even factor in the cost of homeownership, this is a massive step in your life. Talk with your significant other and family to be sure that you are ready. Finances come next, but checking in with yourself to ensure you are ready for this big step, is most important.
Get your finances in order
Buying a new home for the first time requires a mortgage. A mortgage is when a lender will lend you money, and you will pay it back over time. Our mortgage lenders can assist you with loans for buying your first home, construction, VA loans, and loans for families looking to buy homes at lower prices.
Find a First Bank Home Loan Advisor through our First Time Homebuyer Loan program, who can assist you as you get started on your home buying journey.
If you are new to home buying, there are standard financial questions that first-time buyers should answer before purchasing their first home. Owning a home is a great investment, but before jumping into the market, it is extremely important for consumers to consider all costs involved and budget accordingly to ensure they’re able to meet all of their financial obligations.
Check out our common financial Q and A’s to ask yourself before beginning your housing quest.
Unsure about what you can or cannot afford? Check out our First Bank Mortgage Calculators. These will help you figure out what homes you can afford, compare multiple mortgage offers, and even estimate your monthly mortgage payment.
Get preapproved for a mortgage
Now you know your home buying budget. It’s time for you to find a mortgage lender near you. On first.bank, we make it really easy for you to enter your city, state, or zip code, choose to search by distance or name, and then choose your home loan advisor. From there, you may simply call the home loan advisor of your choice or click to learn more. By doing so, you’ll rest easy knowing you will be navigating the home buying process with a mortgage professional on your side. Our very own Dean Pilcher dives deeper into the approval process for a mortgage, and talks in-depth about one of the four keys to getting approved for a mortgage: money for your down payment and the closing costs.
Find a real estate agent
Alright, you’ve checked all of the boxes to get yourself and your family ready. You’ve also gotten your finances in order to buy your first home. Now, you’re going to need a guide.
Shop for a home
Here comes the fun part, it’s shopping time! Get out there and look around. Take photos on your phone to help jog your memory after long days of house hunting. You’ll find a home that you and your family will love, we know you can do it! Sometimes this process can be quick, and sometimes it takes more time. Our best advice is to be patient and go with something that makes you happy!
Make an offer
The title says it all: it’s time to make an offer. Your real estate agent will be an excellent resource at this point in the process. They will likely know key sales information, and any information about the seller (such as if they are looking to sell their home quickly).
If you get rejected, you might have the ability to make a counteroffer or step back and walk away. It will be very important here for you to talk it out with your agent during these negotiations with the seller.
Offer accepted? Woohoo! Congrats! You did it! Now all that’s left is a few more steps and you’ll be closing in no time.
Conduct a home appraisal
Even if you got preapproved for a home loan, your lender will still want to conduct a home appraisal. Here, your lender will simply be reviewing the house to make sure that you are making a good investment. Aren’t they so nice?
No, we aren’t talking about the Semisonic song. Closing, which in different parts of the country is also known as settlement or escrow, brings together a variety of parties who are part of the real estate transaction, including the buyer, seller, mortgage representative, and others. Closing is the day you officially get the keys to your new home—and pay all the various parties involved. That will include your down payment for your loan, closing costs, the extra fees you pay to process your loan. Closing costs are typically 2%-7% of the home price.
Move in! Got your loan? Are you done with the closing process? In that case, you are officially a homeowner. Congratulations! The journey of becoming a homeowner is an exciting one. Let’s make sure you do it the right way, together.
Whether you’re ready to refinance, buy your first home, or purchase your dream vacation home, the First Bank Mortgage team has the knowledge and know-how to help get you there. Visit www.first.bank/mortgage and find a member of our First Bank Mortgage team in your area today!