Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Buying a home for the first time is such an exciting step in your life, and it’s something to be celebrated. However, it can also be stressful, overwhelming, and confusing if you don’t have the right information! We are here to help you feel comfortable with the process by understanding the costs, steps, any additional information needed along the way.  If you’re purchasing a home for the first time, you might be wondering what to expect when getting started. Here are a few things that we will go over when you are ready to get started. 


First, we suggest filling out an application. Of course, we are always available if you have general questions before you fill out the application, but if you would like answers about your specific situation, your loan officer will need to know more about your finances, credit, and employment history.


Your loan officer will go over your finances with you to see how much you can be approved for and the percentage of down payment you will make. A down payment can be as low as 3% with an excellent credit score, but that still amounts to thousands of dollars. 


Along with a down payment, you also need to account for closing costs, which are used to finalize your mortgage and home purchase. We will go over what to expect so you aren’t caught off guard. Some loans can also include closing costs, so it is good to discuss this with your loan officer. A seller could also pay some or all of your closing costs if worked into your contract and would need to be negotiated by your real estate agent. As it may not be guaranteed until late in the process if at all, we don’t suggest planning on this when planning all your costs.


Your Loan Officer will also suggest a loan best suited to your situation. Conventional mortgages are the most common, but there are also other options, including various government-backed loans. There are many factors in finding the right fit, and a loan officer can steer you in the right direction. 


Your credit score is also crucial to your ability to qualify for a mortgage. Usually, with a higher score, more options and better rates are available. You can track your credit score through all three major reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. It’s important to keep track of all three scores because sometimes accounts or collections are considered in one report and not in another. 


If you are approved, you will be given a pre-qualification letter with the loan information. This letter is required to make an offer and lets sellers know you will likely qualify for the loan needed to buy the home. This isn’t a full approval, which can only come after our underwriters have fully verified all of the information you provided and will take longer to get. Ask your loan officer about the difference and see if it is something you are interested in starting before making an offer on a home.


Finally, enjoy the process! You’re buying a home, which is an exciting milestone in anyone’s life. If you’re ready to purchase your first home, Graystone Mortgage can help. Contact us today and let us support you through the home buying process.