Whether it's getting a mortgage, choosing a real estate agent, shopping for a home, or making a down payment, we lay out the must-knows of buying for the first time below.
This means the bank will assess your credit history, credit score, and other factors, then tell you whether you qualify for a loan, and how much you qualify for.
Mortgage pre-approval also puts home sellers at ease, since they know you have the cash for a loan to back up your offer.
Pick the right real estate agent You buy most things yourself—at most, sifting through a few online reviews before hitting the Buy button and making a payment.
But a home?
(You know, a down payment, loan, etc.)
Make sure to find an agent familiar with the area where you're planning on purchasing; to her credit, the agent will have a better idea of proper expectations and realistic prices, says Mark Moffatt, an agent with McEnearney Associates in McLean, VA. "Finding a Realtor is not hard, but finding one that is best suited for you and your purchase is a challenge," he adds.
Finding a home is a lot like dating: "Perfect" can be the enemy of "good," or even "great."
If they believe you'll have trouble making a payment, a mortgage lender will not approve your loan.
Some states and municipalities may offer mortgage credit certification, which allows first-time home buyers to claim a tax credit for some of the mortgage interest paid.