So, you are ready to buy your first home…

Before you contact a Realtor, know how much you qualify for, as a good Realtor will best serve you if they know you have all your ducks in a row.  You want to have an exciting buying experience, not a stressful one!

Qualifying and how much you can afford are two different things.  A good mortgage consultant will help you design a budget, so that you enjoy owning a home comfortably.  You don’t want to be tied to a large mortgage payment even if you qualify for it, if you have no quality of life.  If you are spending all of your income on a mortgage payment and have no room to go to dinner and a movie occasionally, it will not be a pleasant life!

I suggest you have a very detailed budget, as there are different responsibilities and costs associated with homeownership, and you want to be prepared for these responsibilities.  With that said, don’t get overwhelmed as owning a home is the most important investment you will ever make!  Homeownership is most important when you become retired.  Think ahead.  Remember if you work 50 years of your life, when you retire you want to live comfortably and not be tied to a rent or mortgage payment.  Be realistic, there may be things you need to trim on your budget in order to realize your dream.

Qualifying is determined by your income and credit score.   There are many different loan programs.  All will require some type of down payment, closing costs, and reserves.  Your Mortgage Consultant will discuss all of the options available to you, so you can make an informed decision if you are ready to purchase now or in the future.

Your first home purchase is not always your dream home, but a building block to get there.  Remember your first car?  It probably was not your dream car, but over the years you planned and budgeted and were able to “move up”.

Once you have determined the mortgage payment you feel comfortable paying each month, and the program that best fits your plan,  then it’s time to contact a Realtor.