Steps to Buying Your First Home

If you’re tired of paying someone else’s mortgage and are considering purchasing a home, you’ve come to the right place. Purchasing real estate in Woodbridge is a great way to gain equity, but owning a home is a big commitment. There are many important decisions you’ll need to consider during the home-buying process besides choosing your dream home. You’ll have to contend with the mortgage process, house hunting, negotiations, inspections, appraisals, closings, and moving. If you’re in the military or a veteran this process moves even faster. It can feel overwhelming at times. In order to keep your sanity, following is a timeline you should take before selecting your dream home.

  • 6 months out- Check your credit score and familiarize yourself with your credit history. Mortgage lenders rely on credit reports to determine your mortgage rate. If your credit is good, you’ll get better rates. Credit reports contain information on your bill payment history, amount of debt you owe, loans you have, and other financial information. You can order a free credit report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com annually. Once you receive it, check it for accuracy of payments and to ensure that no fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name. If you order it early enough, you should have time to fix any reporting issues or repair your credit.

 

  • 3-6 Months out- Save for your down payment. I work with many reputable lenders and they all require a down payment towards the home. The exception to this is a VA Loan which offers 0%. A down payment is usually a percentage of the price of the home. For example, a FHA loan requires between 3%-10% as a down payment, but there are stipulations that must be followed.

 

  • 3 1/2 months out- Shop Mortgage Rates, find a lender, and get pre-qualified. Rates vary among lenders so be sure to compare the APR (Annual Percentage Rate), the mortgage points, and any associated fees. Use a spreadsheet to compare rates. Note, many of the lender loan terms do not include things like insurance premiums or taxes which will raise your final payment. Getting pre-qualified also helps to determine how much home you’ll be able to afford.

 

  • 13 weeks out- Consider your budget with the new home costs included. The majority of lenders recommend that homeowners not spend more than 28% of their income on housing costs or 36% on housing with all expenses included. Exceeding that amount may cause you to become house poor. Don’t forget to add items like maintenance, decorating, and utilities.

 

  • 12 weeks out- Call, text, or email me. I was voted Best Real Estate Agent Woodbridge and Best Realtor Prince William in 2017 by local residents. With 20 years of Internet marketing experience and a Masters in Business, I will help you find your dream home! Since it is currently a sellers market in Woodbridge, finding and closing on your dream home may take up to 3 months. Moreover, as your dedicated Buyer’s Agent, you don’t pay my commission, the seller does, so it helps you to have me looking out for your best interests. Additionally, as a Military Relocation Specialist, I am often able to preview homes before they come on to the market.

 

  • 4 weeks out- At this point, we should have your dream home under contract. I will guide you through the inspection, appraisal, and closing process. Your mortgage lender will also require additional documentation. I’ll provide you with my personal Moving Checklist so you can get the underway too. My goal is to make your move a pleasurable experience so that you can refer me to your friends! As always, if you have any questions or comments about this, please email or text me.