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Preparing to Buy Your First Home? Here’s What You Should Know

Preparing to Buy Your First Home? Here’s What You Should Know

A happy family of three stands in front of a house, home buying

Buying a home for the first time requires diligence and careful preparation. Making oneself attractive to lenders and working with a lawyer from the start can make the home buying and ownership process less hectic. Choosing the right home and planning a smooth transition from renting is also a crucial part of the first steps towards a home purchase. 

Practical Tips for Buying the First Home

Making Oneself More Attractive to Lenders

Lenders generally want people who have good credit and a stable income. To maintain a low debt-to-income ratio, a prospective home buyer needs to raise what he or she pays toward his or her debt every month. He or she needs to postpone taking on additional loans.

The first-time homebuyer also needs to implement an effective saving plan. That way, the home buyer can make a bigger down payment and take on a relatively lower amount of credit. The homebuyer can boost his or her creditworthiness by maintaining a clean history with no late payments or other delinquencies.

Working Closely with a Lawyer from the Start

Homebuyers need to have a real estate attorney on their side when buying a first home. The attorney can help a homeowner understand the purchase contract’s terms and conditions, and approve or modify the contract. He or she can review the loan documents to ensure they conform with the lender’s approval and fees. A lawyer can also advise on potential detriments to homeownership and provide sound legal advice throughout the transaction process. An experienced real estate lawyer is the captain that navigates the entire transaction into the harbor, keeping track of the timing for the contingencies that may be put into the contract, including inspections, financing, the sale of the property through a lease-back option, and home repairs.

Choosing the Right Home

Finding the right home takes due diligence and time. The National Association of Realtors reports that homebuyers take approximately 10 weeks to find exactly what they want. A new homebuyer needs to think long-term when deciding what kind of home is right for him or her. The home he or she buys must address both current and future needs.

Choosing the Right Time

The flip side of homeownership is that one owns a property and has the responsibility to maintain it. This includes spending more money on utilities, making repairs, and paying taxes on the home. If there’s a steep learning curve before moving in, a home buyer might not be ready to deal with these responsibilities right away. It may be advisable to rent for a year or two before taking the home-owning plunge.

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