First-Time Home Buyers Choose American Fidelity Mortgage Services
First Time Home Buying Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated
So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and buy your first home. Congratulations! It’s a big step but well worth it! There are many positive reasons to own your home: stability,
appreciation, building equity and wealth are some. As a first-time home buyer, it may seem
confusing with a myriad of details, steps, and procedures. Where to begin?
My name is Stu Magid and I am a 25-year mortgage professional that has successfully helped many first-time home buyers through the process. It’s not as complicated as it seems but understanding the process will help to reduce anxiety and ensure a smooth transaction.
Here are the first three steps.
The best way to approach buying your first home is to first determine what type of property will best suit your needs. Condominiums require less maintenance than single-family homes, but they come with the added expense of monthly Home Owner Association fees. A multi-unit property may defray some, or even all, of your monthly housing expense (mortgage, tax, and insurance) but you are now a landlord with legal responsibilities to your tenants.
Once you’ve decided on the type of property that meets your needs, you’ll need to determine what is affordable. Many first-time home buyers forget to include the real estate tax, home insurance, and possibly the private mortgage insurance (PMI) in their calculations.
Okay, you’ve decided on the type of property and have a good idea of what you can comfortably afford. The next step is to get pre-approved by a lender. Most Realtors won’t show you properties or submit purchase offers on your behalf without one. However, it’s more important for you to discuss financing with a professional to understand exactly what you will qualify for and to uncover or correct any deficiencies with your credit, income, or assets to make the purchase (down payment and costs). For a detailed look at the pre-approval process please review my page about Mortgage Basics.
What’s Next? Let the Fun Begin!
Now that the first three steps are taken care of, the fun starts! You’ll be touring properties and making offers with confidence knowing that you are pre-approved and qualified to purchase. However, what happens once your offer is accepted?
Once your purchase offer is accepted you are now “under contract”. Being under contract triggers specific deadlines but each date that is met brings you closer to closing and taking possession of your property.
I highly recommend reading the piece I wrote, “Important Sections of Purchase Contracts”, for a detailed understanding of real estate contracts and a sample of what they look like. Fill out the short form to download the PDF.
Continue Moving Towards a Closing Date
Having an accepted offer will also shift your lender into high gear. You’ll receive the actual application package to review and sign, as well as, a list of documents to upload or update. Your lender will coordinate with your attorney and Realtor to request the title work and appraisal, as well as, keep your file moving towards your contract closing date.
On the closing day, you will complete your final walk-through of the property and then proceed to the closing. This typically takes place at the title company but sometimes at one of the attorney’s offices. You will be in a conference room with your attorney, Realtor, and title closing agent. The lender rarely attends but should be available by phone or email if there are any issues at the table. You will review and sign all the required documents to complete the transaction, the title company will confirm your down payment and costs have been received and send the signed paperwork to the lender. They will quickly review for accuracy and completion and then “release funds” to the title company for disbursement. Once funds disburse you will receive the keys to your new home! Congratulations! You officially bought your first home.
Still Have Questions?
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us anytime.