How-tos and tips for renters to become homeowners
Easing Your Way Into Home Ownership, real estate agent assistance, qualifying for a low down payment mortgage, and income level programs
For renters, one of the first steps in buying a home is becoming educated with the process. Like many people considering a home purchase, you’ve spent many nights, weekends and time at work searching the internet or flipping the classified pages looking for a home that will work for you. You’ve talked to friends and relatives about their home buying experiences. Conducted research to become more familiar with real estate terms and the various types of mortgages available today.
Coming up with a down payment and finding a loan program that meets your needs are the greatest hurdles most buyers face. You’ve looked at the brochures and flyers from lenders offering loan programs that seem incomprehensible and incredibly complicated. With so many excellent first-time buyer programs to choose from these days, you may feel that you have to be an expert to sort through them all.
That’s why if you’re a first-time home buyer seeking a low down payment loan, you’ll save time by talking with a professional real estate agent, like Douglas Lagos, who is experienced in working with renters and first-time buyers just like you in the neighborhood where you plan to buy.
A professional real estate agent can help guide you toward a lender that will pre-qualify your for these special programs, as participation in some may be limited to buyers under a certain income level or for the purchase of homes below a certain purchase price. FHA loans come to mind, and you may have heard of them before. Your lender also can tell you whether you must fulfill other requirements to be considered. With some programs, for example, you must attend an educational seminar before you can be considered for one of these low down payment loans.
An agent who frequently assists first-time buyers will know from experience which lenders in your area offer low down payment programs that will most closely match your needs. The lender will need to become familiar with your current financial situation. Before you discuss your options with them, you’ll want to collect some basic information to make the process easier. Be prepared to tell them about your income, assets, debts, credit issues and financial legal issues. This information will help the lender determine how much home you can afford. A good lender may even be able to suggest ways to remedy negative remarks on your credit report that could disqualify you from a low down payment loan program. Don’t worry about your so called bad credit. Many renters believe that they can not buy a home, where the opposite is the truth. Your lender will be able to assist you with this.
In addition, because most lenders will require that you have several months of house payments in the bank as a reserve, your real estate agent may be able to suggest ways you can increase your savings in the weeks and months leading up to your home purchase. Remember that some programs allow you to apply a cash gift from a family member to cover the required down payment and closing costs.
Your agent also may know a motivated seller who would be happy to assist you in accomplishing your home purchase by contributing to your closing costs, which will reduce the amount of cash you need to have on hand.
With the possibility of interest rates edging up, innovative mortgage financing programs that require a low down payment are even more important than ever to first-time buyers. A professional real estate agent working with a trusted lender can help you sift through the countless programs that are available and identify the one loan program that is just right for you. Remember to call Douglas Lagos for an enjoyable home shopping experience.
If you are searching for a rental, or want to transition into your own home, please contact me.