New Year’s Resolutions for First-Time Homebuyers

True Homes has some New Year’s resolutions for first-time homebuyers planning to make their big move in 2023. These home buying tips are a great place to start, even before conducting the first “new homes for sale” internet search or stepping foot into any new home communities.

Understand the Process

Many first-time homebuyers set a savings goal and, once the goal is reached, start touring new homes for sale. True Homes has seen many of these buyers become overwhelmed because they aren’t familiar with the lingo (what is an escrow account, anyway?) and are surprised by extra costs or delays that can occur with a home purchase.

A great home buying tip is to learn about the homebuying and home financing process first. Simple internet searches will help. So will sitting down with a local lender for a discussion. They can review different financing options, offer down payment strategies, and give a realistic idea of the amount of money needed to finance a home beyond just the down payment.

If face-to-face isn’t your style, reach out online and ask for educational materials. Many lenders have an array of calculators and other digital interactive materials to help homebuyers prepare for financing.

Speaking of lenders, many homebuying tips will recommend getting a mortgage pre-approval. With a pre-approval, a mortgage company typically takes the borrower through the entire underwriting process, pulling credit scores, confirming employment, reviewing current debts, gathering tax returns and more. While this is good advice, if done too early, documentation will expire, and much of the work will have to be repeated later. Save this step for later!

Organize Your Finances

Once first-time homebuyers know what to expect and better understand how much to save, it’s time to organize financial accounts and documents. This step will help not only in assessing where buyers are and what they need to do but also in providing needed documentation when applying for a mortgage.

Go ahead and pull your free credit report at annnualcreditreport.com and review it for errors. Before pursuing any corrections, however, speak with your lender. Depending on how long ago the mistakes occurred, it may hurt your credit score more to draw new attention to them!

Begin gathering documentation, including pay stubs, federal tax returns and statements for all financial accounts. Divorce papers, documentation for child support and proof of any additional income may also be required. Self-employed first-time homebuyers will have special documentation requirements as well.

As first-time homebuyers begin gathering funds for a down payment and closing costs, placing the money in a single account will help speed the underwriting process. Holding them there for at least three months will help, too, as underwriters will not require documentation to prove their origin if they are in a “seasoned” account.

Plan for After the Purchase

Here’s something often overlooked in homebuying tips – set a budget now for after the purchase. Planning for utility costs, home maintenance expenditures, and a monthly mortgage payment will ensure that you don’t get too excited over new homes for sale that may be expensive to own, even if the purchase price is right.

When considering their budget after purchase, many True Homes first-time buyers find that brand-new homes cost less after closing. Energy expenditures are typically less with new construction, and owners don’t have to worry about making expensive updates, managing delayed maintenance, re-doing the landscaping, or replacing old systems.

True Homes is here to help first-time buyers with homebuying tips as they search new homes for sale. Check out our website at www.truehomesusa.com or visit one of our new home communities conveniently located throughout the Carolinas.

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