Even If You Don't Know Where to Start!
Don't be daunted by the leap into unknown waters! Buying a home for the first time may seem like an overwhelming process, especially when you have no idea where to start, but that's why we're here for you. Learn more about the process of obtaining a mortgage, finding the perfect home, and making an offer, and you'll be on your way to owning your very own home in Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill!
Five Simple Steps to Buying Your First Home
Step 1: Understanding Mortgages
There are four basic types of mortgages used by the majority of home buyers: Conventional, FHA, VVA, and USDA.
What do mortgages include? There are four main components to a mortgage payment, often abbreviated as "PITI." Principal, Interest, Taxes & Insurance.
It's also important to understand two different types of interest rates offered by mortgage lenders: fixed-rate & adjustable mortgage.
Step 2: Calculating Your Monthly Budget
Now that you know what loan options are available to you, what you can expect to pay as a down payment, and what your likely interest rates will be, it's time to determine how much you can afford to pay every month, which will then be used to calculate the price range of your home.
Keep in mind that your mortgage costs will be based both on the price of the home and the CURRENT interest rates. A home's affordability can vary from one day to the next based on the current rates.
Step 3: Start Shopping
Now it's time for the fun part! You get to start shopping! This is where you get to decide exactly what you want and need in a home, from the type of house or townhouse to the location of the neighborhood to all the exciting interior and exterior amenities you just have to have! Make sure you keep detailed records of the homes you visit, noting things you liked, didn't like, pros and cons, etc. Taking pictures can also help keep your memory fresh.
Step 4: Making an Offer
You found the perfect house, and now it's time for your and your agent to sit down and discuss your offer.
What will you pay up front? Earnest money (think of this as your security deposit, once it's accepted, it will be applied to your down payment), down payment (this is determined by your loan assistance), & closing costs (typically low fees associated with paperwork and lender charges).
If the seller accepts your offer, it's time for a home inspection. Before you close, you'll want to have an experienced professional walk the house to ensure that there aren't any lingering problems or maintenance issues that might not be visible at first glance.
Step 5: Closing
If everything looks good, it's time to sign the paperwork, make final negotiations and payments, and get your keys!
Review your contract: Before you sign any paperwork, it's important that you carefully read over the contract with your agent or lawyer to ensure there are contingencies.
Finalize your mortgage: Work with your chosen lender to submit your mortgage application, have your home appraised, and review predicted closing costs.
Pay, close, and get keys: Meet with your agent, lender, and the seller to finalize the paperwork, sign your contracts, and pay your down payment and closing costs.
Still Have Questions?
We bet you do! Buying your first home is no simple process, and though we have tried to provide as many important details as possible, there's still much to ask and learn. So don't wait - contact us today and ask away! Want to do some more reading? We have plenty of resources to help you out. Learn more about buying a home today!