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Frequent First Time Homebuyer Questions and Answers

posted by Stephen Katz @ 4:35 PM
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If you’re thinking of purchasing your first home, you’re sure to have questions about how to get started and what the process entails. Here are answers to a few common first-time homebuyer questions to help you make some informed decisions.

 1. How do I know if it’s the right time for me to buy?

You may hear conflicting ideas about whether or not it’s the right time to purchase a home. The answer is ultimately up to you, but here are some things you should take into consideration when deciding if buying now is the right move for you:

Do you have a stable job and/or source of income?

Are you able to make monthly mortgage payments?

What is your credit situation?

Are you prepared to cover the additional costs that come with homeownership, such as regular home maintenance or unexpected repairs?

 2. How do I get started?

The best place to get home buying help is from a reputable licensed realtor. Realtors do more than just show you properties. They can help you determine how much home you can afford, negotiate the best price, and help you navigate the tricky process that comes along with purchasing a home. You can get recommendations for a realtor from family, friends, neighbors, coworkers or a mortgage professional.

3. What’s the difference between all of these mortgage loans?

You should ask your mortgage professional to explain in more detail various loan programs, but here are two of the most common:

Fixed-rate mortgages. A fixed-rate mortgage keeps the same interest rate over the lifetime of the loan, typically 15 or 30 years. Your monthly payment will stay the same except for adjustments on taxes or insurance.

Adjustable-rate mortgages. Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have interest rates or monthly payments that can fluctuate over time. While ARMs start out with lower monthly payments, they can be riskier in the long run because of their potential changes.

This is a basic overview of just two mortgage loan options, so make sure spend some time talking with your mortgage professional about options that may work best for your situation.

 4. How much should I offer for a house I want?

When you find a house you love, it can be confusing – maybe even a little intimidating– figuring out how much to offer. Come in too low and you may lose the house. But you don’t want to pay more than you have to either. Your realtor is the best resource to help you put together a strong and fair offer. He or she will provide information about the local market, the home’s condition, and comparable home sales. Be open to negotiations. You may have to go back and forth with the seller to reach the best price for both of you.

Being a first-time homebuyer is exciting, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the details. Educate yourself and seek out a professional to help you navigate your way through the buying process. Checkout  for great tips and advice.

Stephen Katz

(770) 309-0939 (direct) or (866) 742-8400 -- For the past 18 years, Stephen Katz has built a successful business almost entirely on referrals. As your mortgage consultant throughout the home loan process, Stephen will explain the pros and cons of all available mortgage programs and help you choose the financing option that is best suited to your needs. Throughout the loan process, he will keep you informed and will respond quickly to your requests with answers and solutions. Consistently a top producer, Stephen is a Mortgage Bankers Association "Diamond" Award winner, a Georgia Mortgage "Top Gun" and has closed almost half a billion dollars in loans. Put his knowledge and experience to work for you!

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