According to the National Association of Realtors®, nearly 40% of home buyers will be first-timers this year. In other words, if you are new to the housing market you are certainly not alone. Since first-time home buyers in Lansing experience the same learning curve as anyone everywhere, reviewing some of the more common missteps can spare them some of the angst those common mistakes cause. Some examples:
1) They Don’t Check Their Credit Score
New home buyers focus on the seller’s asking price, but don’t realize how greatly their credit score will affect how much they actually pay. They know their score is important to qualify for a home loan, but not how a low credit score can result in a higher down payment and interest rate. A single percentage point of higher interest over a 30-year timeframe is…you get the picture! The takeaway? Start improving your credit score as soon as possible.
2) They Don’t Lay Out a Budget
Greater Lansing area first-time home buyers frequently don’t realize the impact of secondary costs. In addition to administrative, insurance and legal costs, there are also closing and other fees which can add 2%-5% to the purchase price. Add in property taxes and possibly monthly neighborhood homeowner’s association fees, and you can see why experienced home buyers first determine their maximum monthly budget figure — then stick to it.
3) They Don’t Double-Check the Neighborhood
Once you’ve set your sights on an exciting new home, it’s natural to quickly proceed to the purchasing details without second-guessing your choice. That’s all well and good — unless you have only visited it a few times, and all at the same time of day or day of the week. Make several return trips to the neighborhood on weekdays and weekends, daytime and nighttime: you want to be sure that your family will be comfortable with the neighborhood (and your future neighbors).
If this fall will find you searching for your new house, I want you to know that I’m here to help my clients every step of the way. Calling me for a consultation is your first step!