San Antonio real estate experts share tips for first-time home buyers
The town of Alamo is growing in popularity with home buyers, but San Antonio remains the most affordable major metropolitan area in the state. As home prices continue to rise and the market becomes more competitive, now is a great opportunity for first-time homebuyers to start researching what is going on in buying a home.
The process may seem overwhelming at first, but with this guidance from expert agents of San Antonio Real Estate, which have helped many first-time buyers successfully move into their first homes, you will certainly feel more confident.
1. Optimize your credit score
When you begin the planning process and start to think more seriously about your finances, one of the best things you can do is check and improve your credit health. If you are applying for a mortgage loan, lenders won’t just look at the number, they’ll also look at the contents of your credit report to better understand your finances as a whole. Be aware of what’s on your credit report and resolve any issues or incorrect information with the credit bureau.
2. Keep hope
While finances are important, another factor to consider in the home buying process is your state of mind. Finding a home in a sellers market can come with its challenges, but you are not alone in dealing with these challenges when you have an experienced agent by your side. Try not to think that buying a home is out of your reach or too complicated before taking advantage of all the resources at your disposal.
3. Get professional advice
This leads directly to the next tip, which is to work with a professional. Just as a homemade haircut in your kitchen can be stressful and produce less than desired results, so can real estate. When we want a beautiful haircut, we trust the professionals. Do the same with your home search from the start by finding a great agent will eliminate a lot of unknowns and set you up for success.
4. Research the market
While you don’t need to be an expert by any means, understand what real estate market It’s like when looking to buy a home you will avoid being surprised with unexpected trends, and it will allow you to come up with a better game plan with your agent.
5. See what programs are available in your state
Many states offer resources for first-time home buyers if you look a little. Looking at the information from the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation can help you understand if you qualify for loans or specific programs available to you based on first-time home buying criteria.
6. Plan for the unexpected
While you may have started saving for your down payment and have thought about how much you can spend on a home, a good tip is to make sure you’re prepared for the extra costs. For example, you will need to have enough for your closing costs, usually 2-5% of the loan amount. You’ll also want to plan for costs like movers, furniture, immediate repairs, and whatever else you might need to get settled into your new home.
7. Obtain a pre-approval letter
When you start shopping from home and start to feel some properties tighten your heart, take a moment to step back. You don’t want to spend your time looking and falling in love with a house that is actually outside of what you’ll be approved for.
While a prequalification letter (a useful tool that lets you estimate what you can afford) is useful, a pre-approval letter has more strength behind it. This letter is a much more specific analysis of what you will be eligible for and is issued by the lender. While this is not a guarantee that you will necessarily be approved for a certain loan, it is the closest thing to a “yes” before going through with the loan. It also helps your agent serve you better, and it lets buyers know that you are serious.
8. It’s never too early to ask questions
It’s new to you, and that’s okay. When you start your home buying search for the first time, it only makes sense that you have a lot of questions. So ask! Your agent will be happy to help you navigate the process clearly.
Asking questions and really listening to the answers can expand your knowledge of a situation, allowing you to learn more and ask even better questions that will make your life as a first-time buyer easier. But the great tip from the pro is that you don’t have to wait to start asking questions until you start the process.
Even if you are just thinking about owning a home, you can meet with a mortgage lender to figure out where you need to be. Ask yourself questions too. Do you want to live in this neighborhood for years to come? The average term of a mortgage loan is 30 years. Are you planning to start a family? You will want to keep the schools in mind.
When you’re ready to move, use the free search tool at realtysanantonio.com.