Buying a home is an emotional experience – it can be exhilarating, thrilling and even stressful. When the time comes to sign the paperwork, don’t be surprised if you feel butterflies in your stomach, or even nauseous. You are likely making the biggest financial decision of your lifetime; so it is perfectly normal to feel anxious about buying a home.
Despite your natural anxiety, do not let uncertainty about the home buying and mortgage process keep you on the sidelines. The tips that have been clearly explained below will help you feel more prepared for home ownership.
According to a recent survey, most consumers have the wrong ideas about what it takes for someone to qualify for a mortgage. Most people believe that the requirements are more strict than they actually are, When they were asked about the crucial mortgage qualification criteria (like debt to income ratio, down payment percentage and credit score), approximately 50 percent of the responses were incorrect or “do not know”.
This means that there are many eligible home buyers sitting on the sidelines because of misconceptions about the mortgage process or anxiety about being turned down for a loan. To be certain you are ready to purchase a house, and ease any anxiety you might have about the whole process, below are five suggestions that will help you to ease your home buying anxiety.
Know what questions to ask
Whether this is your first home purchase ever, or first home purchase in several years, the process changes rapidly. Contract forms, negotiating tactics, and market dynamics all factor in to helping you get from where you are today (thinking about buying a home) to where you ultimately want to be (comfortably settled in your new home). Ask yourself these questions:
- where do I want to live for at least the next 3 to 5 years?
- what kind of home will suit my needs today and for the foreseeable future?
- do I have the resources to buy, maintain and improve a home?
- who do I know that can direct me to professionals I can trust?
Learn about mortgage options
In the recent years mortgages have changed a lot as investors and lenders make changes reflective of the American households. For instance, several adults in the household might be working and making their contributions to the household budget.
Some of the mortgages allow lenders to consider the income that is generated from the other household members when qualifying a borrower. In addition to that, some home buyers might qualify for zero down options, including VA loans (guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs) for service members, veterans and the surviving spouses, and the United States Department of Agriculture loans for low to middle income borrowers in qualifying rural areas. Also available to home buyers is the FHA loan product, where you can purchase a home with as little as 3.5% down, and that 3.5% can be a gift from a family member. According to the Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, use of these types of loans is on the increase, particularly among first time buyers.
Talk to a mortgage expert you can trust
Don’t know your credit score or how you can save? Don’t know a mortgage lender personally? No problem. Don’t just search around for mortgages online. I can connect you with a several fantastic mortgage professionals who can answer all of your questions.3
Consider long term risks & rewards of home ownership
As any home buyer knows, there are costs you can anticipate, for example; your home owners association fees or monthly mortgage. There could also be unexpected costs down the road, such as paying for a new roof for your home. Home owners should set aside 3 % to 5 % of the value of their home each year to use for improvements and repairs. You will want to tuck the money away so that you do not become stressed when something goes wrong because things can, and will, go wrong. A pleasant surprise, usually, is how much your home will appreciate in value over your years of ownership. Historically, real estate has always been a safe and secure long-term investment.
Find a Realtor you can trust
Ultimately, while you’ll be the one scouring the area for houses to view, your Realtor will be the one to guide you every step of the way. The process starts with having your mortgage approval in place. You’ll want to be in a position to negotiate with strength and confidence once you find the perfect house for you. Count on your Realtor to provide you with market data, possible challenges this home might present for resale, and introductions to professionals you’ll need during the process – inspectors, contractors, etc. If you are purchasing a home in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, consider interviewing me as a resource.
About Nicole Smith:
I have been helping first-time homebuyers in the DFW Metroplex since 1995. I believe our homes create the chapters in the story of our lives, and I am here to help my clients before, during and after their real estate transaction. The communities I proudly serve include Flower Mound, Southlake, Grapevine, Trophy Club, Keller, Colleyville. If you’re considering selling your home, contact me for a complimentary consultation.