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Must-Have Checklist for First-Time Home Buyers



JustChoice Lending

December 20, 2022

Thinking about buying a home? While exciting, there are some intricacies involved when it comes to purchasing a place of your own.

The following checklist can help create a solid plan so you can buy with ease!

Start Your First-Time Home Buyers Checklist With a Budget

Before you do anything, take a close look at your household budget. This will help you determine how much house you can afford.

Keep in mind that you’ll need enough disposable income each month to cover your mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, and any potential repairs that pop up. If that amount exceeds what you pay for rent each month, you may need to look at lower-priced homes.

Save for Your Home Purchase

Plan on saving a small bundle before you start looking at homes. You’ll need between 3% and 20% for a down payment, depending on the type of loan you qualify for. You should save an additional 2% up to 5% of the home purchase price to cover closing costs.

On top of those funds, save an extra few thousand dollars to cover any immediate repairs your home might need.

Check Your Credit

As soon as you decide you want to buy a house, request a report from the three primary credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). As you review your credit reports, look for discrepancies. Some errors may indicate that you have been a victim of identity theft, so it’s important to report those instances immediately.

Spend some time improving your credit and paying off unsecured debt. These steps will help you earn a lower mortgage interest rate, and you’ll pay less for your new home in the long run.

Start Shopping for Lenders

Looking for lenders is an exciting step on your first-time home buyers checklist because it means you’re getting closer to buying your first home.

Look for lower interest rates and other incentives as you shop for lenders. While the opportunity to put less down upfront may seem like a good incentive, keep in mind that you’ll need a larger loan to cover the difference.

Lender shopping is the next step in the process because it gives you the opportunity to get a pre-approval letter from your lender. The pre-approval letter isn’t necessary, but it is helpful. It will make it easier to set a spending limit and show sellers that you’re a serious buyer.

In a competitive bidding war, a pre-approval letter can put you over the top.

Begin Your House Hunt

Looking for your first home can seem overwhelming, so start with a list of must-have criteria. Refine your search by price, location, number of bedrooms, and necessary features. A refined search will help you filter out homes that won’t meet your needs so that you won’t waste time with a mountain of irrelevant listings.

Just Choice Lending Can Help

Ready to buy your first home? Contact us today to get started!

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