Tips for First-time Homebuyers

Posted on Thursday, May 14, 2020

If you’ve been feeling a little cramped in your apartment, good news! With interest rates at an all-time low, a new home — and a planned crystal clear lagoon — in Sierra Vista is within easy reach for first-time home buyers.

Making such a big purchase may seem a little daunting. Not to worry. We have some tips that will get you up to speed and in your new home in no time.

Know Your Price Range

Check your finances. You need to be prepared for both the purchase and the ongoing expenses of a home. Use this home affordability calculator to determine how much you can safely afford to spend.

Keep Track of Your Spending

Before you start looking, make sure you know how much you spend per month. Account for all your purchases including utilities, food, car payments, student debt, retirement savings and any miscellaneous items.

Check Your Credit

Before you go to see a lender, check your credit as it will be one of the key factors in whether you’re approved, and it will help determine your interest rate and possibly the loan terms. Avoid opening any new credit accounts, like a credit card or auto loan, until your home loan closes.

Explore Your Mortgage Options

There are lots of mortgage options out there. If you’re struggling to come up with a down payment, check out these loans:

  • Conventional mortgages conform to standards set by the government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and require as little as 3 percent down.
  • FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration permit down payments as low as 3.5%.
  • VA loans are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and sometimes require no down payment at all.

Remember, making a higher down payment will mean having a lower monthly mortgage payment.

Get Preapproved for a Loan

Don’t look for your home until you have a pre-approved loan. Having a preapproval letter in hand not only shows that you are serious, it shows that a lending company has already vetted you.

Save for Closing Costs

If you thought you only needed to save for a down payment, guess again. Closing costs generally run between 2 percent and 5 percent of your loan amount. They must be paid when you close on your new home. Many Sierra Vista builders offer low to no closing costs as an incentive for purchasing one of their homes.

Make a List, Check It Twice

Now that you know how much you can spend, it’s time to search for your perfect home. Make a list of things you must have and the things it would be nice to have. Prepare to be flexible. Consider hiring a Realtor even if you are looking to purchase a new build home.

Where Do You Want to Live?

It’s possible to love your home but grow to hate the neighborhood it’s in. Master-planned communities like Sierra Vista offer a range of builders and floor plans as well as fantastic amenities and proximity to great schools.

Now that you know what to do, get out there and find your first new home!