Likely one of the biggest mistakes new home buyers make is underestimating the true cost. You think you're tired of paying rent every month with nothing to show for it, but what you don't realize is that your landlord may be taking care of more than you realized. When you become a homeowner, you're now in charge of fixing any appliances that don't work, hiring someone for the lawn care or doing it yourself, etc. You also didn't think about the cost of homeowners insurance and taxes. Make sure you have a good estimate for the upkeep and maintenance of your new home and have budgeted for this going forward.
Mistake #2: Not Knowing How Much You Can Afford.
One of the first steps in the home buying process should be determining how much you can afford. The easiest way to accomplish this is to get a mortgage pre-approval at the Lake of the Ozarks. By getting pre-approved, not only will you have a good idea of how much you can afford, you're one step ahead of the rest of the buyers on the market. Sellers and real estate agents will know that you're serious about buying a home.
Mistake #3: House Hunting Before Getting a Mortgage.
This mistake goes along with Mistake #2. You want to get that pre-approval and know how much you can afford before you start looking at houses, not the other way around. You don't want to waste your time looking at hoses you can't afford, or even worse, fall in love with a home that you can't afford. You want to make sure you get a loan with a comfortable monthly payment that won't put you in a financial strain.
Mistake #4: Emptying Your Savings to Buy a Home.
Those extra costs to consider that we mentioned in Mistake #1 are going to require cash on hand. You do not want to wipe your savings account to cover the down payment and closing costs. It's important that you keep enough cash on hand for an emergency fund. You never know when something in your new home is going to require repairs. When budgeting and saving for your first home, be sure to include an emergency fund in those numbers.
While it's possible to purchase a home without a real estate agent, it's not easy. Think about how much time and stress a good, knowledgeable buyer's agent can save you. Real estate agents have access to resources to help you narrow down the listings you should look at, can help you determine a fair price and negotiate to that price, and recommend other professionals to work with such as a good home inspector. Buying a new home at the Lake of the Ozarks is a big investment; don't go it alone.
Mistake #6: Not Researching the Neighborhood.
Many people get swept up in the excitement of finding the perfect home, that they fail to consider the neighborhood that home is in. Do you have children or do you plan on having them in the future? Be sure to check out the school district that the home is located in. Do you feel safe coming home at night in this neighborhood? Drive through the neighborhood at different times of day to see what's going on and if you're comfortable there. Talk to your prospective neighbors, look through the local newspapers, check local crime reports, scout out nearby churches, shopping, dining etc.
Mistake #7: Applying for Credit Before the Home Sale Closes.
The period between when you apply for a mortgage and when you close on your new home is critical. You want to make sure that you don't do anything during that period that could jeopardize the approval of your home loan at the Lake of the Ozarks. During this time, don't touch your credit. Any changes in your credit situation could affect your ability to obtain that mortgage. Don't apply for any new credit accounts, this includes credit cards, car loans, etc. In addition, don't start buying a bunch of new stuff for your home on credit, like furniture and decor, until after the closing is final. Doing so would change your debt-to-income ratio and could cause a delay or denial on your mortgage approval.
As your mortgage lender at the Lake of the Ozarks , I'm here to help you every step of the way. From determining how much you can afford through a pre-approval to the closing, I'll be here to answer all your questions. I'll discuss your loan options, offer competitive interest rates and back it up with the first-class service you deserve. For all your Lake of the Ozarks home financing needs, give me a call at 573-746-7211.
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Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712
4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.