We asked our social media followers to give us their best home buying advice. Here’s what they said:
Kev Otto says “Don’t over extend yourself. Unexpected things happen, and you need any extra to cover those things” …”start small and move up. You don’t need to have it all the first time around. #financialliteracymonth”
Fact: Housing should be no more than 30% of your monthly budget. While many first-time home-buyers struggle with picking the most important features in their first home, it is important to realize that you the typical time most families live in their first home is 4 years. Think about your family’s needs for the next few years, and choose a home that works for your budget.
Lynn Johnson says “Have enough of a down payment saved up to apply, so you don’t have to purchase mortgage insurance!”
Fact: Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is required on any loan where less than 20% down payment is put down on a home. The mortgage insurance protects the lender in case of default. By having a larger down payment, homebuyers can save any where from hundreds to thousands on insurance over the life of the mortgage.
Troy Johnson says “It’s OK to get a “starter” home. Don’t make yourself ‘Mortgage poor’ aka when you have no extra money after mortgage payment and bills. Like Kev said above, it’s important to have extra money in case of emergency.”
Fact: Emergencies will happen! The washer will break, pipes will burst (let’s hope not all at once). Establishing an emergency fund will help cover these expenses. $1,000 is a good start.
Marcus Barnes says “Hire an awesome realtor and look at a lot of houses before you settle.”
Fact: Selecting a real estate agent is important. Make sure when you speak with a potential agent, he or she understands your needs. Search reviews and get recommendations from family and friends. If a particular name keeps popping up in the neighborhoods you like, they’re probably familiar with the area. Be mindful that most realtors will ask that you get prequalified before searching.
Kristina Thompson says “@FAMILYTRUSTFCU be realistic in your choices and make a budget! #homebuyingadvice”
Fact: Making a budget can be the key to a) saving your down payment b) creating peace of mind about your finances from month to month. It allows you to better control your spending, and look for ways to save money whether its cutting your energy costs, or eating out less. There is power in putting the numbers on paper.
Our mortgage experts can help when you’re ready to buy your next home.
We’d love to hear from others – Share your best home-buying advice with us.