Get Started as a First Time Homebuyer

By Doherty • June 10th, 2011
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Home ownership is a huge undertaking,  and it can make you feel like a needle lost in a haystack .

With so much information floating around it’s hard to know where to begin.Nonetheless, you must remain undaunted if you’re ever to become a homeowner.

Rob Mahallati, Broker, and owner of Philadelphiahouse.com, offers this advice:

Whatever documents your broker asks you to bring to your first appointment, bring them! We can’t determine the mortgage you can afford without getting a good look at your finances.  Presenting your financial information in a concise manner allows the broker to provide a stronger estimate on mortgage price.

Don’t be discouraged if your credit scores are low. It is a common problem. Plenty of people struggle with credit on various levels, and there is help . There are plenty of resources  for raising your credit , but you must research all your options.

Pick the right house. Most first time home buyers become second time home owners inside of ten years, sometimes sooner. Families grow, children leave the nest, and people relocate for career opportunities. Whatever the reason, the majority of first time homeowners eventually move on. Keep this in mind as you house hunt. Don’t drive yourself crazy looking for “the perfect house”. Instead, put effort into finding a house that’s “perfect for now”.

Don’t rule out renovations. The first time homebuyer’s initial instinct is to dismiss renovation properties out of hand. But there are benefits to newly renovated properties, especially with “flipped” houses. You’ll usually have a choice in materials and what the renovations will look like, such as flooring, bathroom tiles, etc. Not only do you get a newly reinforced house, at the end of the day your home will reflect a style all your own.

Once you’ve got it, keep it. Qualifying for a mortgage probably required a revision in spending, exchanging bad spending habits for good ones. Now that you’ve bought your first home, avoiding falling into any old patterns that might negatively effect your credit scores, and be sure to pay your mortgage on time. There are enough people out there who attained their goals only to lose their homes to foreclosure.

Still on the fence? Consider all of the benefits to home ownership. The property appreciates over time, as does your credit score thanks to those timely mortgage payments. You also get tax breaks. And you never have to pay another landlord again.

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