You’re driving through your neighborhood and see a for-sale sign in the yard. You stop. You’ve passed this house a hundred times. You’ve always admired it, and you never thought you’d see it for sale. In reality, you never really gave a lot of thought to the possibility that you might ever own your own home. Seeing this house for sale makes you start thinking about the possibility. You want to know if you can afford this dream home. So, you start digging in, and you get overwhelmed by all kinds of information and options. Wow, what should you do?
Don’t fret; you’ve invested your life into serving your community. We want to ensure you don’t make these common mistakes in choosing your first home. There are a lot of common pitfalls that new homebuyers fall into. We’ve seen the landscape, and we know how to avoid those problems.
- Avoid Other Loans
Imagine this scenario. You’ve found your dream home, in the perfect neighborhood, with just the right layout for your family’s needs. You think, “Wow, to go along with this house, I’m also going to go get my dream car!”
Even if it seems like a great time to change your life, between submitting your offer and closing is the worst time to look into any other type of loan. You don’t want to jeopardize your closing, as you will have your credit checked again before closing is complete. So, wait until you’ve got those keys in hand to buy that new car. Better yet, wait at least six-months before you look into a new investment to go along with your home. This also applies to credit-cards, boats, or any other large purchases that would need significant credit to purchase.
- Get Your Loan First
Get pre-qualified for your loan before you even start looking for a home. Doing so allows you to determine what you qualify for, how much your payments will likely be, and helps you decide how to manage your financial situation early. Prequalification is often a pretty quick process, and it gives you a lot of peace of mind.
Planning on the house you want and your total home cost without knowing what loans and rates you can expect might have you planning to purchase far outside of your reach. It could also make you think you can’t afford your dream home. A Homes for Heroes Affiliate Lending Specialist can help you prequalify for your loan, and let you know what prices are in your budget. Then you can narrow your search to the homes that fit your overall needs, which just makes the entire process that much more simplified. Sign up to speak with the local Homes for Heroes Real Estate and Lending Specialist in your area, and get your questions answered.
- The Mortgage Payment Is Just the Start
As a homeowner, you need to consider your entire investment. You’ve got to consider property taxes, homeowners insurance, home warranty, HOA fees, and all of your various utility costs. Taking all of your costs into account can help you plan out your actual month-to-month needs more efficiently. This is why getting prequalified is essential. Homes for Heroes will assist you in determining your overall investment. Pre-planning helps you to choose wisely.
You’ll also want to try and plan on putting aside a ‘fix-it’ fund. Extra funds put aside are a great resource for helping fix that water heater or window that gets broken at the worst possible time. Even if you have a great home warranty service, you might have out-of-pocket costs that you just aren’t expecting. Having that savings fund set aside helps you deal with these moments. If you build that amount into your planning every month, it builds up quickly.
- You Need Some Help
Get a professional to help. There are dozens of websites that offer mortgage deals. Many of them talk about supporting Veterans with using their VA benefit. Without having some professional guidance, it is easy to walk into a situation that isn’t good for you in the long-run. Homes for Heroes wants to help you succeed. You’ve given your life to service, why wouldn’t you want to work with an organization that keeps that in mind? Homes for Heroes’ Affiliate Real Estate professionals are focused on ensuring you make a decision that is good for your future. Get some help; it can’t hurt to have a guiding hand helping you make this financial decision.
Don’t be afraid to ask for someone to stand with you during the home buying process. As a professional who serves your community, you are probably used to having a team at your back at all times. We hold to this same philosophy. We want to be your battle buddy, your wingman, your support. Our goal is ensuring your success, just like those you work with every day.
- Spending All of Your Savings at Closing
Making a down-payment makes a lot of sense, but it isn’t the end all and be all of the options out there. Our military Veterans in particular often have a lot of options that allow them to purchase a home without having to have such a significant amount of money invested up front. Forgoing the downpayment when possible allows you to reinvest and create a nest egg for your home in your savings. Be sure to ask your Affiliate Real Estate professional about all of your options at closing.
You might be surprised at what you’ll need to have at closing. There are also specific benefits available to first-time homebuyers in various states, so again consider reaching out to get some support and guidance on how your exact situation will look.
These are common mistakes we see homebuyers run into, but there are other pitfalls as well. Please reach out to Homes for Heroes to get some support in finding your new home. You’ve given so much for us, let us give back.