Guidance for the first time homebuyer

If you are a first time homebuyer, here are a few guidelines for you to start to consider if you are thinking of buying a home in the next 6 months to a year. There are several steps to the home buying process that many people aren’t aware of.

1. Tips for Obtaining Financing

Be sure you are paying all of your bills on time and if you have outstanding debts try to make a payment plan with your credit card company. Do not make any large purchases or open multiple credit cards prior to trying to qualify or while you in the approval process. Do not join clubs or test drive cars or do anything where they will need to pull your credit because too many inquiries can cause your credit score to drop.

The brokers and bankers that I have been working with have said that in order to obtain a competitive interest rate it is important to have a minimum 580-620 credit score. You will need to get pre-qualified by a loan officer so that you know what price range you can comfortably afford.

2. What should I look for in a neighborhood

This is an individual decision. Everyone has different criteria that they search for. Please remember is that you don’t want to be the most expensive house on the block. The other important principle that many first time home buyers need to know is that you never want to over improve your home. When you are house hunting, pay attention to the types of finishes that homes in your price range tend to have and be sure not to spend too much money on improvements unless you are making them for your own enjoyment.

3. Do I need a Realtor?

Property is the single largest investment most people will make in their life. I recommend that buyers especially first time home buyers always have Realtor representation. In Cincinnati real estate, when properties are listed with a real estate company the commission is already figured into the list price and the % commission does not change whether you have representation or not.

4. How long does the First Time Home buyer Tax Credit last?

Closing must be on or before November 30, 2009.

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