Tips For First Time Homebuyers

Tips For First Time Homebuyers

8 tips for first-time homebuyers

Chanelle Bessette cbessette@rgj.com2:14 p.m. PDT March 16, 2015

58CONNECT 34TWEET 2LINKEDIN1COMMENTEMAILMORE

The U.S. economy is improving and so is the real estate market. As millennials in particular begin to buy their first homes, they are experiencing first hand that there is a definite learning curve to the process.

Local Reno-Sparks realtors Regina Lockwood and Jim Forbus have contributed their expertise to offer novice homebuyers some advice.

1. Get help from your loan officer

"Homebuyers should always ask their loan officer about down payment assistance programs," said Lockwood, a realtor at Reno's Ferrari Lund agency.

RENO GAZETTE JOURNAL

Sparks real estate draws millennial homebuyers

The "Home is Possible" grant offers qualified Nevadan homebuyers in Washoe and Clark Counties 4 percent of their loan amount to cover their down payment and closing costs. The grant doesn't need to be repaid. Program requirements include:

 A minimum credit score of 640 for government insured loans, 660 for manufactured homes and 680 for most conventional loans.

 Qualifying income on mortgage application must be below $95,500.

 Home price below $400,000

 Applicants must take a homebuyer education course.

 Must meet normal government or conventional loan underwriting requirements.

2. Make your mortgage interest work for you

Another route to consider is getting a mortgage credit certificate. Issued by the local government, a mortgage credit certificate allows a homebuyer to claim a tax credit for their mortgage interest. It increases buying power for first-time homebuyers, but it does cost some money up front.

3. Don't forget about unpaid medical bills

Approximately 30 percent of millennials have unpaid medical bills, according to a 2014 report by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

"A lot of first-time homebuyers need to take care of any unpaid medical bills. Collections can really get you, and emergency room bills will come back to haunt you when you're trying to buy a house," Lockwood said.

4. Make sure you have enough lines of credit

"Some people don't want to do anything with credit and just pay cash instead," Lockwood said. "But to buy a house you typically have to have three revolving credit lines (i.e. credit cards)."

For people who are hesitant to open credit cards or can't get one yet due to lack of credit, there is a solution. Some banks offer a card with a secured line of credit to their customers. A customer can give the bank a certain amount of money, say, $500, and the bank will give him or her a credit card with a $500 limit.

"If you've never had credit, that's a way to start," Lockwood said.

5. Select a trustworthy agent who understands your needs

Every homebuyer is different, and your realtor's way of doing business should reflect that. Forbus, a realtor with Krch Realty in the Reno-Sparks area, completes an "All About You" form for his prospective clients to get a better understanding of what they're looking for.

"Buyers and real estate agents should have mutual trust and commitment to one another," Forbus said. "Buyers may decide to break commitment if they feel the agent is placing them or their funds at risk."

6. Don't forget about closing costs

Closing costs will account for a significant portion of the total sale, and a failure to plan for them can result in not getting the house you want.

"Buyers can enhance their buying leverage by possessing the funds to cover their closing costs, or obtain a gift letter from a relative to cover their closing costs," said Forbus.

7. Search the internet wisely

Real estate search engines like Trulia or Zillow can give you a good idea of what's available on the housing market, but some sites aren't as up-to-date as others.

"Buyers should follow the agent's advice as to real estate search sites and understand some websites offer limited or teaser information," Forbus said.

8. Think long-term

A house is an investment, so don't rush into buying one that doesn't meet your standards.

"Buyers in the Northern Nevada area should consider a home that they would be satisfied with for 6-7 years," Forbus said "It may be best for some buyers to save more funds and purchase a better quality home or area rather than to rush into an immediate purchase."


Mona Thind Headshot
Author:
Phone: 803-269-4774
Dated: April 8th 2015
Views: 371
About Mona: ...

Property Search








RSS Feed

View our latest blog posts in your RSS reader. Click here to access. RSS

Search Blog

Recent Blogs

How To Beautify Your Outdoor Space This Summer - How To Beautify Your Outdoor
How To Make An All Natural Bug Spray In 5 Minutes -  Why Homemade Bug Spray?At my
The Sun Is High And Hot And So Is The Competition For Buying A Home - The sun is high and hot—and so
MAY - May is the Best Time to Sell Your

Saved Properties

This is a list of your favorite properties. We will email you if a property is reduced or leaves the market.

Click 'Save' to add a property to this list.

Register / Login

New & returning visitors please enter your information to login.

By clicking 'register' you are agreeing to our terms of use & giving us expressed written consent to contact you.

Questions? Comments? Complaints?

This message will go directly to the head of our team.

Location & Address

Guest Group Homes
1204-A E Washington St
Greenville, SC
864-990-3175
864-640-8341