Buy Your First Home, and Stick to Your Budget


Did you know that prospective buyers form an opinion within seven to 10 seconds of stepping into a new home, and home sales are likely to increase by as much as 9% by the end of 2013? Home sales are on the rise. Buying a home, especially a first home, can be one of the biggest decisions of Americans\’ lives. What are some things to think about before purchasing your first home?

Create a Realistic Budget

Over the past century, home ownership increased by as much as 25%. The buying process, however, is continually changing and evolving, and potential home buyers need to remain in the loop. One of the most misleading things about buying real estate can be the cost. First-time homeowners should realistically prepare for final costs, including getting a mortgage. How?

  • Be aware of closing costs. Closing costs typically entail related fees from lenders and third parties. Closing costs may include: loan origination fees, credit report costs, appraisal fees, the cost of any home inspections, attorney fees, and more.
  • Take advantage of good faith estimates (GFE). Although closing costs can be pretty comprehensive, prospective buyers do not have to be blind to them. Laws require lenders to provide a GFE within three days (or less) of loan or mortgage application. Good faith estimates are fairly accurate, and, legally, lenders can only raise estimated closing fees by 10%. Factor in the highest possible costs to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

    Do You Qualify for Extra Funding?

    One of the best tips for moving to a new city is that regions are not created equal. Assistance programs can be specific to particular locations, and, if you are moving out of your hometown or state, it is worthwhile to see if your new area offers any potential assistance or savings programs. For example, in 2012, Wells Fargo and nonprofit organizations provided $170 million worth of home costs in select cities. The programs, dubbed NeighborhoodLIFT and CityLIFT, offered funding for education programs and provided partial assistance for new home purchase.

    Purchasing your first home can be a life-altering decision. Be smart about it. Have realistic expectations about final costs, and know tips for moving to a new city, including location-specific education and assistance programs. Get more info here.