Buying your first home is an exciting experience. From the first realization that you just might be able to make it happen, to the picture you take of yourself standing on the lawn of your new home, it's definitely an adventure. As with all life experiences, a little help and good advice along the way is always welcome. If you're thinking of buying your first home or if you've been looking at homes and you're ready to take the next step, here are five pieces of good advice to help you along the way...
1. Get pre-qualified.
Stop by any Wasatch Peaks branch, no appointment necessary, and begin the financial dialogue. Bring your income verifications, pay stubs, and W-2's, and speak with a loan officer about your plans. We'll ask you questions like, "How long have you been employed?", "Are you still in school?", and "How do you budget your money?" Getting a better idea of what you qualify for will help you narrow your search for properties and help you take control of the home buying process.
2. Know your credit.
There are three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Using information from your credit report, these credit bureaus calculate a score that indicates your overall credit risk. This score is called your FICO score and it's the number that will help determine the amount of money and the interest rate you'll qualify for. This is important, and a little intimidating. Don't worry, just know some credit basics and be aware of your own scores.
3. Shop for a great real estate agent.
Don't rush this step. Find an agent that works for you and has your best interest in mind. It's also important that you choose an agent who understands what you're looking for and knows the geographic area you're looking to move to. Your future self will thank you for taking the time to get a great agent. Plus, you'll get the home you love and what's not to love about that!? Remember, the seller pays for the buyer's agent, so don't hesitate to pick the best agent for you.
4. Find out if you qualify for discounts.
You never know unless you ask. There may be government programs, as well as city and state sponsored incentives that you may qualify for. Are you, or have you ever been in the military? Don't forget to mention this! Homebuyer assistance is out there, so make sure you do some research and bring it up when you sit down with a mortgage professional. Depending on the loan you're applying for and the home you're hoping to purchase, your dream home could be yours for less than you expected.
5. Believe in yourself.
You're on the verge of the next chapter of your story. This first-time homebuyer adventure you're on doesn't have to be a negative experience. Patricia Taffs, one of our excellent mortgage professionals, had this to say about first-time buyers, "You'd be surprised what you can qualify for! Don't count yourself out – just ask!"
You can apply by phone at (801) 627-8700, online at wasatchpeaks.com, or in person at any of our nine local branches. Stop by today and begin your next adventure!