Get Organized: No, you don't have to go on a massive cleaning binge to get a new home, although that might happen after all when you move into it. The first and most important step in buying a home is to get your finances organized. In order to determine what type of home you want there are a few basic things that you need such as at least two to five years of employment history, two to six months bank statements, bank and stock account balances, and credit score, although your mortgage broker should be the one to look this up. There are two main reasons to compile all of this data, first because most reputable lenders are going to require it, second and more importantly, because by understanding where you are right now financially you will be able to see how buying a house will impact your finances.
Perhaps you will gain equity with a smart purchase and ideally you should be able to get a good house for less money per month than your current apartment, if not you may want to spend a few months improving your credit first. If organizing all these statements seems like too much work there are plenty of financial advisers and even some mortgage brokers who can help, the important thing is to put yourself in the position to make the most intelligent decision.
Get the Right Mortgage: Now that you know where you stand financially, and hopefully have a few clear goals set, the next step is to determine what kind of mortgage will work for you. Unlike rental agreements mortgages are not simple one-size-fits-all transactions, having the wrong mortgage could mean the first home you buy is the last home you ever buy. The important things to consider when choosing a mortgage are your monthly payment, how soon you plan on moving, and any improvements or repairs you plan on making to the house. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting an adjustable rate mortgage if you could be making the maximum payment right now, even if you are planning to move soon it's better to be safe than sorry.
For the home buyer who is planning on a move in the near future a possible option could be an interest only mortgage, again know what you are getting into. For the Home buyer who is not moving it may be wise to maximize equity build up with a low interest 15 year mortgage. Whichever mortgage you choose make sure you can not only afford the payments, but also have a few months income in savings. If something did happen reserve accounts can buy the time needed to make any adjustments.
Get the Right Agent: The right agent is the one who has your best interest in mind, not the size of their commission. That much is probably obvious, what isn't as well known is how to find a good agent. To get a good Real Estate agent you need to know a little about how Real Estate Agencies work, to put it simply the best listings go to the best agents. A good Real Estate agent knows that you will probably buy more than one house in your life, and they know that you have friends and family who might be referrals for them, if they do a good job. Owning a home is a powerful financial statement, regardless of age or background, but it is also a significant responsibility. That responsibility is ongoing too, even in brand new homes things may break, rather than having to scramble through the phone book while the bathroom is flooding, look for a good home warranty and save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress, your Real Estate agent should be able to recommend one. It takes a lot of smart, organized individuals to complete the purchase of a new home, and the buyer should be definitely be one of them.
Based on an article by Simeon Pennisi