Buying Your First Home 2012


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Buying Your First Home 2012

  1. 1. Buying Your First Home: A reality checklist
  2. 2. How’s your credit?With home loans harder to get than ever, good credit isa must. The higher your credit score, the better chanceyou have of getting a good loan at a competitive rate.•Go to to see your report•Spring for the inexpensive FICO score to see where you rank•Shoot for a credit rating of 740 or higherHow do a buy a house with no credit history?Loans and credit Q & AHow to repair your credit
  3. 3. Do you have the money?Check your funds. Not only do you have to have a downpayment that’s been in your account for 60 days,you’re going to need reserves.•Run the numbers to see how much you can afford, including closing costs,insurance, utilities, taxes and unforeseen emergencies•Pay down your credit card debt•Be realistic about what you can affordAre you ready?10 steps to home ownershipSix signs you’re ready to buy
  4. 4. Get pre-approved for a loanUntil you know how much a lender says you can afford-- and is willing to loan you -- your dream of owning ahome is just a dream.•Get your paperwork in order – you’ll need canceled checks, bankstatements, recent pay stubs, W2s and identification•Maintain your credit profile once you’re approved… that is, don’t take onany additional debt•Begin shopping for a home – and don’t fall in love with any house that’s overthe amount your lender says you qualify forGet loan pre-approvalPre-approval letter importanceHow long is pre-approval good for?
  5. 5. Find a REALTOR®Let your REALTOR® help you find the best home foryour lifestyle and budget.•Go to and find a Realtor in your area•Ask friends and neighbors for a referral•Interview at least three agents, get references and ask a lot of questionsFind a Realtor®How to choose a RealtorImportant role of a Realtor
  6. 6. Go house huntingYou have everything all lined up… an agent, financing,and the motivation to own your own home.•Download’s Real Estate Search App for iPhone, Android, iPad orWindows 7•Create a wish list of features you have to have•Bring a camera so that you remember all the important detailsThe art of house huntingHouse hunting tipsGet a mobile app
  7. 7. Find the right loanTime to apply for the loan. Do you want the stability ofa 30-year fixed rate loan or the initial lower paymentsbut potential volatility of an adjustable rate mortgage?•Mortgage lengths vary but are typically 15 to 30 years•Fixed rate loans mean you pay the same every month for the length of theloan•Adjustable rates may have a low introductory period but can increase oncethat endsUnderstanding FHA loansFixed vs. adjustable loan calculatorSeven warning signs of a bad loan
  8. 8. Make an offerHere’s where the rubber meets the road… when youmake an offer to the sellers for the house and it’seither accepted or countered.•Bargain from strength – you’re pre-approved for a loan and you know whatthe house is worth•Understand what home-buying purchase contract contingencies are – theycan be your safety net•Know when to walk awayThe basics of making an offerNegotiating tips and ideasMake an offer they can’t refuse
  9. 9. Get insuranceYour lender will insist that you carry homeowner’sinsurance in the event anything goes wrong with yournew home. And you need to know whether specialtyinsurances are needed, such as for floods orearthquakes.•Figure out your needs with an insurance agent•Save money by raising the deductible and seeking available discounts•Compare policies to get the best ratesHow credit affects your homeowner’s insuranceTips for getting a discount on homeowner’s policyTips for reducing homeowner’s insurance costs
  10. 10. It’s closing timeIt’s all come down to this… sign a huge stack of papers,write out a check for the closing costs, thencongratulate yourself -- the keys to your new home areyours.•Give yourself time to read the documents•Don’t be shy about asking questions•Double check all fees to make sure they’re correct and reasonableCan I add property taxes into closing costs?Understanding the closing processClosing cost calculator
  11. 11. Enjoy your new home!Every step you’ve needed to take to become ahomeowner, you’ve taken. Congratulations! The houseis yours.•Keep all paperwork related to your purchase in a safe place so you are readyfor tax filing•Expect the home to be “broom clean,” meaning ready to be painted andcleaned•Create a moving day checklist and know what you want your movers to takeand what you should keep with youSecrets to a successful moveDecorate a small houseExpert Advice: Wall color selection