If you’re thinking of buying your first home, you’ve undoubtedly got questions about how to get started and what the process entails. Here are answers to four common first-time homebuyer questions to help you make informed decisions.
1. Is it the right time for me to buy? You might hear conflicting ideas about whether or not it’s the right time to buy. The answer is ultimately up to you, but here are some things you should consider when deciding if buying now is the right move for you:
Do you have a stable source of income?
Are you able to make monthly mortgage payments?
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What is your credit situation?
Are you prepared to cover the additional costs of homeownership, such as regular home maintenance or unexpected repairs?
2. How do I get started? The best place to get homebuying help is from a Realtor®. Realtors® do more than show you properties. They can help you determine how much home you can afford, negotiate the best price for your dream property, and help you navigate the tricky process that comes along with purchasing a home. You can get recommendations for Realtors® from family or friends, or use the Find a Realtor® search on gfwar.org.
3. What’s the difference between all of these mortgage loans? You should ask your Realtor® to explain in more detail various mortgage loans, but here are two of the most common:
Fixed-rate mortgages. A fixed-rate mortgage keeps the same interest rate over the lifetime of the loan, typically 15 or 30 years. Your monthly payment will stay consistent except for adjustments on taxes or insurance.
Adjustable-rate mortgages. Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have interest rates or monthly payments that can fluctuate over time. While ARMs start out with lower monthly payments, they can be riskier in the long run because of their potential changes.
This is a basic overview of just two mortgage loan options, so make sure you spend some time talking with your Realtor® about options that may work best for your situation.
4. How much should I offer for a house I want? When you find a house you love, it can be confusing—maybe even a little scary—figuring out how much to offer. Come in too low and you may lose the house. But you don’t want to pay more than you have to either. Your Realtor® is the best resource to help you put together a strong offer. He or she will provide information about the local market, the home’s condition, and comparable home sales. Your Realtor® will also help you understand all the factors besides price that go into an offer. Be open to negotiations as you may have to go back and forth with the seller to reach the best price for both of you.
Being a first-time homebuyer is exciting, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the details. A Realtor® can provide more information about these common questions, plus answer yours. Visit gfwar.org to find the best Realtor® for you.
About The Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS®
The Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS® was established in 1918 and has spent a century representing the real estate industry in the Greater Fort Worth area. With over 3,200 REALTOR® and affiliate members, GFWAR is a strong advocate for real estate professionals and private property owners. For more information, visit www.gfwar.org.