Buying your first home in Utah can feel exciting. But I know that it’s such an overwhelming experience at the same time! This is because of the many decisions you’ll be faced with, particularly financial decisions. For instance, choosing the right Real Estate Agent, or Mortgage Lender is not as easy as it may seem to be. With that being said, it’s important first-time homebuyers in Utah to understand these tips to help them to make the right decisions.
Here are 12 tips for first-time homebuyers in Utah:
1. Start Saving for a down payment
Some first-time homebuyer programs in Utah require that you pay a certain percentage as the down payment. No matter how small this percentage may seem, you ought to have started saving for a down payment like yesterday! Don’t wait until it is too late. You can set up automatic withdraws from every paycheck and put it into a down payment savings account.
2. Explore your options
Unfortunately, some first-time home buyers tend to go with the first option that they come across without finding out what other Lenders are offering. You’d be surprised to find out how much money you could have saved if you had taken the time to study the different lenders and loan programs, they might be able to offer you! Do your homework before deciding.
3. Local Assistance Programs
Apart from the state-level down payment assistance programs, there are several different local assistance programs you could choose from. For first time buyers, these first-time home buyers’ programs feature different perks. Some include down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, tax credit assistance, and discounted interest rates. These assistance programs feature significant savings for first-time homebuyer. Hop on online & see what some of your local options are!
4. Find out how much you can afford
Home buying is exciting, especially when you have so many options and benefits to choose from to help you get into your dream home. Before the emotions carry you away, it would be smart to determine how much you can afford. What amount can you safely afford to repay? Don’t forget that if you don’t repay the full amount, you may lose the property to the lenders. Speak to a loan officer to find out more about how much home you can afford.
5. Take the time to improve your credit scores
When you are applying for a mortgage loan, your credit score is one of the key factors the lender will use to determine if you’re going to honor your loan terms. Now knowing this, I’d recommend you take the time to work on improving your score before submitting a loan application. Maybe loan programs require a minimum credit score to qualify. You can get one free credit report a year from annualcreditreport.com to explore the health of your credit score.
6. Minimize your debts
At this time, you are preparing to borrow a large sum of money to finance a major investment, which is your home. Therefore, it is not the best time to start borrowing to finance other things. Pay down your balances on your credit cards and loans to lower your debts. Lenders take a look at all of your ongoing monthly expenses to determine if you can afford the mortgage. Do your best to minimize your expenses to qualify for more house.
7. Compare your mortgage options
Don’t just assume the first Lender is going to give you the best loan. Search it out, do your homework. Google is your friend. I recommend reading the reviews & ratings. You can always call lenders and ask questions if you are unsure of who to trust. It’s a big investment. Make sure you find the best value and the best service around.
8. Get Pre-Approved for a loan
After you’ve chosen a lender, they’ll request some of your financial documents. Things like Bank Statements, Tax Returns, Paystubs, & a Government Issued ID. They’ll also run a Credit check & use that to help determine how much you can afford. Once they’ve looked through all that information, they’ll write a letter of pre-approval saying how much you can spend. Then you & your Realtor are good to go house hunting!
9. Minimize Existing Debts
It’s not the best time to start borrowing to finance other projects that can wait. For instance, if you need to purchase a car, this is not the time to withdraw your savings to finance car purchases. Delay other investments and don’t finance or charge anything until after you have closed and funded on your home.
10. Compare Mortgage Rates
Don’t just assume the first Lender is going to give you the best deal. Search it out and do your homework. Compare a few lenders and pricing options. Google is your friend, we recommend reading the reviews & ratings.
11. Get Pre-Approved
After you’ve chosen a lender, they’ll request some of your financial documents. Things like bank statements, tax returns, paystubs, & a government issued ID. They’ll also run a credit check & use that to help determine how much you can afford. Once they’ve looked through all that information, they’ll write a letter of pre-approval saying how much you can spend. Then you & your realtor are good to go house hunting!
12. Make an offer and prepare for closing
The offer should be based on the amount you qualified for, and on the first-time homebuyer programs in Utah, you so cleverly found and applied for. I’d make sure you have a good realtor to help with the closing part, as there are a lot of important & confusing documents that can go over your head! They’ll know how to negotiate & navigate these waters. If you have a good agent, it’ll be smooth sailing & you won’t need to worry!
With the above tips in mind, you’re ready to get your house hunt on! Especially with the best deals for first time home buyers in Utah. Remember there are different Utah housing down payment assistance programs, so even if you’re not in the best financial position, there are options for you! As well as others to just help save money. Good luck out there, & remember… Have fun! House shopping Is an exciting time in your life.