08 Nov

First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid

First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid

Buying your first home can be exciting and stressful. You are finally going to be able to call a home your own, but must also pay the price that comes with that ownership – the mortgage. While there are many things to consider before and during your home buying journey, RMLEFCU is here to make the whole process a bit easier with these first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid.

Ignoring or Not Knowing Your Credit Score

Before you even begin planning to buy a home, you must first know if you are financially able to do so. Do you have enough money to pay for the house in cash? If not, how good of a loan will your credit score allow you to get? These are the hard, but important, questions to ask yourself when determining if you are ready to own your own home.

The first, and most basic, step to determine your financial ability, is knowing your credit score. This is the score that banks will look at when determining which home loans you qualify for and, ultimately, which houses you will be able to afford. By being aware of your credit score before meeting with a mortgage consultant, you will be able to more easily communicate your concerns and desires with them and are more likely to be happy with the result.

Looking for a Home Before a Loan

Being realistic about what you can afford is just one of the harsh truths that you must face while buying a home. By looking for houses before you know what kind of loan you qualify for, you may be setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. Instead, know where you stand before you start shopping. Visit our website or come into a RMLEFCU branch and have a financial discussion with one of our mortgage specialists to get pre-qualified for a home loan amount before you start looking.

Being Too Picky

Finding your dream house in your price range is really only a thing of fairytales. Make a list of what’s important to you in a home and decide what you need and what you can sacrifice on. For example, a great school district and large yard might be deal breakers if a home doesn’t have them, but you could maybe live without the dual master bathroom sinks and extra-large walk-in closet. It’s all about finding the happy medium between price and features.

Assuming Your Mortgage is the Only Expense

A common mistake some people make when budgeting for buying a home, is assuming that the mortgage payment will be their only expense. There are many other costs to take into account, such as property insurance, property taxes, maintenance costs, and homeowners association dues (if your residence has them). All these smaller, less significant costs can add up quickly when it comes to home budgeting and affordability. It’s best to over-budget and anticipate for more expenses early on so you’re not left blindsided and broke if anything changes in your financial situation.

The bottom line is that there more first-time home buying mistakes to avoid than you might have originally thought. It’s always better to be over-prepared, and that’s why we’re here! RMLEFCU is ready to help you finance your first home when the time comes and we have the experts here to get it done right. Visit our website or give us a call to get started and see how easy your first-time home buying process can be!

19 Jul

Colorado First Time Home Buyer Tips

colorado first time home buyer

Getting ready to buy your first home can feel a bit like a trip into the unknown – one with pretty high stakes too. By taking the process in stages, you can be sure that you are prepared to take the plunge and properly prepare your finances before the big purchase. Read our Colorado first time home buyer tips to get you started on your path to homeownership.

Get Your Credit Score Up

Buying a home is likely going to be the biggest purchase of your life, so getting a good interest rate will make a huge difference in how much you pay over the life of the loan. Your interest rate is largely determined based on your income and your credit history.

Get your credit score up as high as you possibly can before applying for a mortgage. If your score is low, it is worth it to take some time to work on it. Your score will have a big impact on your interest rate. Check out our credit builder loan to help improve your credit.

A good place to start if you want to get your credit score up is to get a full credit report. This will tell any about any outstanding debts, how long you have had all of your accounts, what your total debt amount is, and will even tell you what’s hurting your score and what’s helping. Take the advice seriously and fix the things you can, like paying off outstanding debt and cutting back your credit card spending. In the months before you apply don’t make any changes to your credit, such as take out a new credit card or apply for anything that might run a hard credit inquiry, this can cause dips in your score.

Get Pre-Approved for a Loan Before You Look

Don’t fall in love with a house you can’t afford! Before you even start to look, meet with a loan officer and get pre-approved for a mortgage amount. Have the loan officer show you what your monthly payment would be at different loan amounts and settle on an amount that is comfortable for you to pay back. Remember – you don’t have to use the total loan amount you are approved for!

Once you start looking, save yourself some pain and don’t go see houses you can’t afford or that would be at the top of your budget. If you are using a realtor, be firm on what your ceiling is. Trying to afford a house out of your reach won’t end well. With enough patience, everyone can find a home that will work for them in their price range.

Pick an Area or Neighborhood & Don’t Settle

You know how they say location, location, location? Well, it’s true how important it is – location is everything. Pick a town or neighborhood you want to live in and stick to it. Weigh your commute to work, proximity to amenities and hobbies, and even the crime rate and school districts.

Is there a part of town you would hate to be in every day? Avoid looking at houses in that area. Is there a neighborhood you would love to live in but are worried you can’t afford it? Just stick with the hunt and go see houses right when they come on the market. With a little luck and patience, you might be the one to snag that rare deal.

Colorado First Time Home Buyer

The Colorado landscape changes quickly and can be intimidating for seasoned investors, let alone first time home buyers. Prepare for your first mortgage as early in your financial life as you can and find a few trusted professionals like us to help along the way.