How a First Time Homebuyer Can Better Their Chances of Purchasing a Home
Are you a first-time homebuyer who is looking to increase their chances of securing a mortgage in today’s ever-changing Wilmington NC real estate market? If so, then here are a few things you can do to improve your chances of purchasing the home of your dreams.
First, Get Pre-Qualified
One of the best things you can do is to get pre-qualified for a mortgage before starting your new home search. This will not only give you a good idea of how much you can realistically afford, but it will also prove to sellers that you are serious about buying and that you can get the financing you need to close the deal.
Ideally, if you are thinking about looking into buying a new home, then you need to start working on improving your credit immediately. Obtain free copies of your credit reports from the three major bureaus and check them for any errors or unresolved issues. Dispute the mistakes and clean up any potential problems. It takes time for a credit score to improve, so start this as early on in the process as possible and avoid taking on any unnecessary credit for at least six months before you try to secure a mortgage.
Maintain Excellent (and Accurate) Financial Records
Thanks to the new mortgage regulations that went into effect in early 2014, today’s lenders are forced to be extra diligent when underwriting new mortgages. To help keep their risks to a minimum, lenders thoroughly research their borrowers’ ability to repay their loans.
To help you avoid unnecessary scrutiny and possible delays, it is more important than ever to maintain excellent and accurate financial records. This includes any tax returns, bank statements, investment accounts, retirement plans, W-2s, and any other assets. Most lenders will also require you to explain and provide documentation for any unusual deposits into your bank account, such as a monetary gift from a loved one.
Prioritize Your Home Preferences
You may want certain features in your new home, like an eat-in kitchen, a swimming pool, or a home theater room, but at the end of the day, not all of them are necessities. Make a list of your family’s preferences then prioritize first on needs and then on wants. The list will serve as a guide to help find the right property that meets your most important criteria. For instance, if someone in your family is wheelchair bound, then a one story open floor plan will be a primary need and a priority.
Along with finding the right home to fit your needs, it is equally important to find the right neighborhood. What types of schools are in the area? Is the community loud at night or on weekends? What is the local crime rate? Is the property in a flood zone? What kind of conveniences and amenities are in the area? These are just a few of the considerations to keep in mind.
If you see a property that fits your lifestyle and budget, don’t wait to see if you can find something better – put in an offer on the property! In today’s market, a good value will be stolen out from under you if you don’t act fast. This is another area where getting that pre-qualification will prove beneficial.
A Home Buyer’s Agent Can Help New Buyers Navigate the Home Buying Process
There’s a lot of information out there for new home buyers and navigating the ins and outs of the home buying process can be confusing. At Just For Buyers Realty, our exclusive buyer agents can help new home buyers find, negotiate, and buy the home of their dreams and best of all, our services usually come at no cost to the home buyer. Give us a call today at 910-202-4813. One of our licensed exclusive buyer agents will be happy to help you buy your ideal piece of Wilmington NC real estate.