3 Great Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a home for the first time can be one of the most intimidating financial decisions you make, but you don't have to go through the experience unprepared. Take a look below at just three of the most crucial things you should keep in mind if you are planning to purchase a home for the first time in the near future.

Take Advantage of First-Time Homeowner Programs

Ironically, one of the most overlooked types of resources for first-time home buyers is state programs set up and run specifically for them. Nearly every state has a program that assists people who have never purchased a home before. Of course, all of them have limits when it comes to things like maximum household income, maximum mortgage amount, and minimum credit score, but if you meet these requirements, there are massive benefits you can take advantage of. Some of these include closing cost assistance, zero-interest down payment loans, and forgivable loans equal to a certain percent of the mortgage. Spending a few minutes to confirm eligibility with your state's housing authority or equivalent department can save you thousands of dollars when buying your home.

Compare as Many Lenders and Loans as Possible

Because many first-time buyers are so anxious to purchase a home—and because they have no frame of reference—they are often too enthusiastic when receiving their first offer from a lender. One of the biggest keys to successfully navigating the home-buying process, however, is shopping offers from various lenders. For example, you may find significant differences in interest rates that add up to tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the mortgage. There are also several different types of loans: fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, and specialized ones such as those offered by Veterans Affairs, etc. 

​Don't Try to Time the Housing Market

The residential real estate market can be fickle, which is why it's never a good idea to try and time it. More so than anyone else, first-time home buyers should look at their purchase as a reliable long-term investment rather than get caught up in the possibility of extreme short-term returns. If you are ready to buy a home, have a sound budget already prepared, and are ready to take advantage of the tips above; there is likely no better time to buy a home than now. 

Contact a local real estate agent if you're looking to become a first-time home buyer