If you’re a first time home buyer who has decided that 2011 is the year you will make the jump from first time home buyer to first time home owner, then now is the time to get prepared.
Buying your first home is a process, not an event, so you have to have an action plan that will get you through this process with your sanity intact.
Here are 5 things you can do now to help you get ready for owning your first home in 2011:
1) Test drive the lifestyle – Owning costs more than renting and most first time home buyers find they will have to make some lifestyle sacrifices. It might be as simple as cutting out that daily mocha grande frappiccino or packing a lunch three or four days a week,
Whatever those sacrifices may be, you might want to find out if you can adjust BEFORE you buy instead of after.
Test drive before you buys
2) Keep your financial house in order – Lenders are examining every loan application more closely than ever before. Interest rates have increased over the last couple months and many lenders now have a minimum credit score of 640. Very shortly many of those lenders will also have a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 45%. So whether or not you’ve been pre-approved in the past, you might want to get with your lender to make sure your still in the market.
As lender’s we’re going to look at all aspects of your financial picture to determine your ability to repay us and repay us on time, so make sure your financial house can stand up to lender scrutiny.
Why first time home buyers need to pay attention to their credit
First time home buyers better have clean underwear
3) Check out all the first time home buyer incentives - There are a lot of good reasons to own your first home. First of all it belongs to you and your family, your not making someone else’s mortgage payment, your getting tax write-offs for mortgage interest and property taxes AND state and local governments are throwing money your way in the form of down payment assistance and tax credits.
Below market interest rates for California First Time HomeBuyers
Down payment assistance programs for first time home buyers
Tax credits for first time home buyers
4) Find a Realtor and Lender team who are specialists in first time home buyer programs
The loan programs and special incentives that are available for first time home buyers require an expertise that not all Realtors and Lenders have. You need a team that represents YOU!, not the seller, bank or builder. First time home buyer loan programs are more paperwork intensive, require more time, and have more exacting guidelines, so your representative has to be looking out for best interest to get you to a successful closing.
Why first time home buyers need their own Realtor
5) Quit procrastinating! – If you’ve made the decision to move from first time home buyer to first time home owner, then get up off the couch, use the DVR to record your favorite programs and get started. Sure home prices will continue to drop, but we’ve already seen interest rates climb and over the long term interest rates will have a greater impact on your cost of homeownership.
What is the real cost of waiting for first time home buyers?
Other related posts:
Why good credit is important for first time home buyers
First time home buyer loans with no credit scores
First Time Home Buyers 10 good reasons to buy now
First Time Home Buyers – How to buy your first home
First Time Home Buyers – should you buy a new home
First Time Home Buyers – is it the right time to buy