Most people that I have talked to who have tried to and(thankfully) succeeded in buying a home has said that is a nightmare to endure. I cannot say that I had that kind of problem because I didn’t rush, I took my time and used these steps that I am about to share with you.
#1. Look at where you live now. What kind of amenities do you have? What were you taking for granted for so long? (For my husband and myself it happened to be Washer/Dryer hookups) What were are you REALLY looking for and most importantly what do you need and what can you afford.
How to answer some of these questions. Look at your rent- are you making it ok? Do you eat out often- if you cooked at home would it cut down that cost so you could have a higher mortgage payment? Do you have a pet? Do you want a pet? Do you not want to go home, because its not yours?
Answering some of these questions might lead you to the same nasty insight that my husband and myself found. We hated where we lived so we ate out to avoid staying home and cooking…so we started SHOPPING.
#2. The inevitable credit check, and loan shopping(this can take several months if you truly want a good payment). Check your own credit…600’s tend to do pretty good for a rate, and usually a Credit Union or your own local bank will give you a fair rate compared to a financial institution (they tend to run more than just a little high. Also ask about any kind of First Time Homebuyers education courses that your town or city might offer, they tend to help cover things like closing costs, plus you can learn a lot about loans in themselves (believe me I went to some classes and I was SHOCKED).
#3. Once prequalified for a payment amount through your now shopped over and found bank, credit union, or lender of choice. Find yourself a realtor. Honestly, these people may seem like vultures, but they are wonderful at their job, and yes…shop for this too, it may seem strange. But until you find a realtor that fits with you personally, or your family, they aren’t going to help you much.
My husband and I went through 8 realtors before we found Dan(our realtor) who then proceeded to have us tell him everything that we wanted and especially NEEDED in our new home(like washer/dryer hookups).
#4. House Hunt. This is the fun part of the whole thing…you have your price range, you have your realtor, you know what you want! Now get out there and LOOK LOOK LOOK.
We took a little over three months looking at over 58 houses to find our ideal home, honestly, we couldn’t be happier with it and our payment is actually lower than we expected it to be, so we have a little extra impulse money each month.
#5. Make a budget and stick with it! If you know how much your spending, then you wont get behind and you’ll have a better time living in your new home, and the lender, won’t seem so bad either!