Saturday, January 27, 2007

First Time Home Buyer Process

Simple 9 Step Home buying process
First Home Guide is constantly working to simplify the home buying process. Our first time home buyer program is a simple 9 step home buying process.
  1. Determine your budget.The first step in any first time home buyer program should be to determine a monthly budget, income minus expenses and savings, to determine how much of a mortgage payment you want to take on. (click here for budget form) In addition to your mortgage payment, which includes principle and interest on your loan, you will also have a monthly tax and home owners insurance payment. Most borrowers roll their taxes and insurance into their loan payment, (principle, interest, taxes, and insurance or "PITI"). If you are purchasing a Condominium or a townhouse, you will have a monthly "association" payment and usually that takes care of your home owners insurance. Either way, an important first step is to determine how much of your total monthly budget you will spend on your housing.
  2. Find out how much you can borrow and determine the best type of mortgage.The next step in a first time home buyer program should be to find out how much of a mortgage payment you qualify for. You can use our mortgage calculators ( how much house can I afford ) to get an idea of how big of a loan you qualify for using your income and expenses. In addition to a traditional 30 year fixed rate mortgage, there are many other types of mortgage available to first time home buyers. Depending upon things like, how long you plan to live in your home, your debt to income ratio, how much of a down payment, if any, you have, and how much of a monthly payment you are comfortable with, you may want to consider another type of mortgage that has a lower fixed rate than a 30 year mortgage. These loans typically have a fixed rate for a shorter period of time such as 1, 3, 5, or 7 years. A mortgage professional can help you sort through all these options and chose the one that best meets your financial needs.
  3. Get pre-approved. In order to get a true loan amount, you will need to speak with a mortgage Loan Officer who is familiar with a first time home buyer program and can factor in things like your credit score, debt to income, and other issues that determine how much of a mortgage we ultimately qualify for. This process can be initially be done over the phone in as little as 10 minutes, but ultimately you will need to meet with your loan officer to sign pre-loan documents and to provide the loan officer with your personal documents like, bank statements, pay stubs, W-2's, etc., to determine exactly how much of a loan amount you can qualify for and get you pre-approved.
  4. Using the Internet, or a realtor, find homes in your chosen areas (city, zip code, etc.) and price range.Using the Internet to identify some homes saves time for both you and your realtor. Generally, most of the homes available for sale in any city are viewable on the Internet. Using a site like you can search for a home based on the city, price range, features, and other things. This allows you to quickly and efficiently narrow down your search to only those homes that meet your criteria. Using the Internet in this manner also helps educate the home buyer as to what is available within their price range. Our first time home buyer program strongly recommends using the internet in your process, especially if you are a first time home buyer.
  5. Contact a Realtor and start visiting homes you are interested in. After you have familiarized yourself with what is available in the marketplace and found a number of homes that look interesting and affordable, you should contact a realtor. If you don't know a realtor, First Home Guide can help you find one with an expertise in the city where you want to buy a home, and who understands our first time home buyer program. A good realtor can make home shopping easier by using different tools available to them to search through even more homes, get you appointments to "walk through" homes you are interested in, and ultimately negotiate the price and write a purchase offer for the home you choose.
  6. Make an offer and sign purchase agreement. In this step of our first time home buyer program, you will be making an offer on home. Generally when you make an offer on a home, if your offer is below the asking or listing price, the seller will respond with a counter offer. This is where it is important to be working with a good realtor as there are many things that can be considered in the negotiations like; who pays closing costs, will things like appliances and washer and dryer be included, day date and time of closing, etc.. This process is even more critical if you are buying your home with no down payment and you have little or no money for closing costs as well. Once the seller agrees to accept your offer, the next step is to have the home inspected and appraised. Generally all offers and purchase agreements are contingent on a satisfactory home inspection and an appraisal that supports the selling price.
  7. Home inspection and appraisal. Your realtor can provide you with the names of some quality home inspection companies or you can use one of the companies listed in First Home Guides resource center. Your Mortgage loan officer will order an appraisal.
  8. Close loan. The closing takes place at a title company and generally takes about 1-2 hours. The attendees include the Sellers and their agent, the buyers and their agent and the mortgage loan officer. The buyers/borrowers must bring a valid drivers license and a cashiers check if they are bringing money to the close.
  9. Move into your new home!! This is the final step in the first time home buyer program. Once your closing is complete, and you are given the keys to your new home and it's off to the moving van! Call First Home Guide toll free @ 877-270-8100 for details about other First time home buyer program
    For more information and free resources for First Time Home Buyers, visit Real estate agents can post your listings for free!!

No comments: