2022 Boise Idaho Real Estate Blog

6 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Main Treasure Valley Life

Buying a home is a major milestone in a person’s life. There are a lot of steps to take to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible, making it exciting, daunting, and stressful all at the same time. Follow these steps when looking to buy a house. These are not all of the steps you have to take. But, these steps will help you build your credit, put you in touch with the right people, and (most importantly) help save you money.

Pay off all debt and don’t accrue more.

Take a look at your credit card bill, car payment, etc. and take steps to pay them off quickly or get ahead on your payments. Not only will this boost your credit score, but not having these payments will allow you to put more money into savings for the house.

Build an emergency fund

In addition to saving for a house and all of the expenses that go with it, don’t forget to save money for when something unexpected comes up. If you get sick or the dishwasher in your new house breaks suddenly, having a safety net will allow you to pay for these expenses without using your credit card.

Explore down payment and mortgage options.

There are a lot of mortgage options out there, so it is more than worth it to shop around and find the best fit for you. Many mortgage lenders now allow down payments as little as 3%. Keep in mind that a higher down payment will mean a lower monthly payment. In addition, a smaller mortgage term means higher payments, but you will pay less in interest over the life of the loan. Plus, look for local and federal programs designed to help first-time buyers buy a house. These can include better interest rates and help with paying on your loan.

Calculate how much house you can afford

The general rule of thumb is that your monthly housing costs are no more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay. As you save for the down payment, look at how much you can afford to pay every month. In addition, you have to factor in closing costs, taxes, insurance, and HOA fees. These tend to add about 4% to the monthly payment, so plan accordingly. Your lending professional and real estate agent can help you with researching and calculating these costs.

Get pre-approved.

Getting pre-qualified saves time and money for all parties. When you get pre-approved, the lender takes an in-depth look at your finances and provides an estimate of how much you can afford to spend on a house. This helps you narrow your search for realistic homes to look at and be able to buy. In addition, pre-approval helps when making bids. When submitting a bid, sellers and real estate agents like knowing how serious the potential buyers are. Pre-approval tells the seller your offer is genuine and gives you a better shot at approval. If your bid is chosen, it is much easier to get your loan approved and the money given to the seller.

Go to a lot of open houses

Open houses are like job interviews. The more you go to, the better prepared you are for the next one. You learn what questions to ask, where the trouble spots are, and how to look for what you really want. As a first-time buyer, realtors and sellers are expecting a lot of questions from you, even basic ones, so ask away!

Ready to start your home buying journey? Use Full Sail Real Estate and Build Idaho for more home buyer tips and in-depth knowledge about the Treasure Valley real estate market. We have a list of preferred vendors who can help with lending, building, and outfitting your home.


Posted by AndrewS at 8/28/2019 9:45:00 AM

Client Care



Let's get started