Jeff Duncan Real Estate
Jeff Duncan
(360) 441-2121(360) 441-2121

3 Top Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

It’s an increasingly difficult market for home buyers, first-timers especially.  I received an update on lending rates this morning, and the current 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at 4.5% interest.  While that’s still very low compared to the trends over the past 30 years, it’s up from where we’ve been recently which isn’t making things any easier. Buying a home is still very doable, so follow these tips and you’ll be moving into your new home in no time.

 

Start saving for a down payment early.

New buyers often think they need 20% down in order to get a loan on a home.  This has never been farther from the truth.  While having a larger down payment will result in a lower monthly payment and may allow you to avoid getting private mortgage insurance (PMI), there are many loan programs available that have low-down requirements, like 3.5% or even 0%, so you can get there sooner than you think.  Putting away tax refunds and wage increases or bonuses can get you on the road to home ownership fast.

 

Determine how much home you can afford.

Talk to a lender.  Need one? Call me.  (360) 441-2121.  Go ahead, set this down and do it now.  You need to know what you can afford before you can start looking and making plans.  Many new buyers feel like it’s too early to talk to a lender, because they may not be looking to buy for a while.  It’s never too early!

Bonus tips:  1) While you’re talking to a lender about affordability, ask them what their current rates are, then call two more lenders and do the same thing. It pays (literally) to know these numbers and keep up to date.  2) Ask them about down payment assistance, paying points to bring down your interest rate, closing costs, and get a preapproval letter at the same time!

 

Hire the right buyer’s agent.

You’ll be working closely with your real estate agent, so it’s important that you find someone you get along with well. The right buyers agent should be highly skilled, motivated and knowledgeable about the area. Call me. (360) 441-2121, and lets have coffee and talk risk-free about your future in home ownership.

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