Buying your first home is a process, not an event, so you have to have an action plan that will get you through this process with your finances and sanity intact.
Here are 5 things you can do now to help you get ready to buy your first home in 2016:
1) Test drive the lifestyle – Owning costs a little bit more than renting and most first time home buyers find they will have to make some lifestyle sacrifices. It might be as simple as cutting out that daily mocha grande frappuccino or packing a lunch two or three days a week. Whatever those sacrifices may be, you might want to find out if you can adjust BEFORE you buy instead of after.
2) Get your financial house in order – Lenders are examining loan applications more closely than ever before. Even with interest rates at record lows getting your first time home buyer loan is not getting any easier, but it’s not the horror story that the media sometimes portrays IF you’ve chosen a lender because they know what they’re doing and not because they have the cheapest rate you could find.
3) Find a Mortgage Broker and Realtor team who are specialists in first time home buyers.
This is probably backwards from the way you’ve heard it’s done, but your chances of being successful in your home search increase dramatically when you know how you’re going to pay for your first home before you find it.
You need a team that represents YOU!, not the seller, bank or builder. First time home buyer loans are more paperwork intensive and have more exacting guidelines, so your team has to be looking out for your best interest to get that home your family has been dreaming about.
4) Quit procrastinating! – If you’ve made the decision that 2016 will be the year you become a first time home buyer, get up off the couch, call a mortgage broker, fill a Mortgage Application and get started. While interest rates have remained near record lows, home values have been creeping up for the past years and rents are increasing at an even faster pace, so... it’s not getting any cheaper! Basically speaking... "the more you wait, the more you'll pay".