Advice for Las Vegas First Time Homebuyers
If you’re a first-time homebuyer, 2015 is a great time to think about purchasing your first property. In many ways, buying your first home is actually easier than ever before. New mortgage programs are allowing first time homebuyers to buy with as little as 3% down. Other programs, including VA loans and lending programs geared toward first time buyers, limit closing costs, eliminate PMI, and keep interest rates low. Here are some tips on how best to get started if you’re planning a purchase in the year ahead.
Know your numbers
Applying for a mortgage requires an intimate understanding of your overall financial picture. If you’ve never thought of buying a house before, you may not have taken a look at these issues in any kind of depth. Knowing your numbers is essential for determining if you’re a strong potential buyer and what properties you can afford. One of the most important numbers is your credit score. Start by getting a free copy of your credit report and your credit score. Look for issues that can be fixed – such as errors or small debts in collections – and clean those up. It’s also helpful to look at your debt to income ratio: how much of your income is dedicated to paying off debts. Paying off as many debts as possible is smart strategy, both to strengthen your application and overall financial position.
Consider your lending options
There are a number of different programs on the market for first time buyers. If you’re a veteran, a VA home loan offers some of the most favorable terms available to any buyer. Dedicated first time homebuyer programs make also offer distinct advantages. In some cases, the programs are available to you even if you’ve owned a home before – as long as you haven’t owned within a specific period of time. Look for these options to better understand what your monthly payments would be, how much you need for a down payment, and more.
Typically, there are three stages to the home lending process. The first is pre-qualifying. A pre-qualification will give lenders a general idea of your financial picture and will allow them to give you an idea of how much home you can afford. When you’re ready to look at properties and make offers, it’s best to get pre-approved. A pre-approval shows buyers that you’re a serious candidate and shortens the time to closing. A lender takes a harder look at your financial situation, and essentially commits to giving you a loan as long as everything checks out during the underwriting process and nothing major changes. During the pre-approval process, you’ll learn more about what specific documentation you’ll be required to show in order to close the loan.
Are you a Las Vegas first time homebuyer that is ready to make the leap? Contact Sydnee Johnson today to discuss your financing options.