Get the Ultimate Checklist for First Time Home Buyers

Buying your first house is unequivocally one of the most overwhelming, yet exciting experiences you can go through. The process involves seemingly endless amounts of paperwork, infinite choices, and tons of other things you need to be on top of at any given moment. The Auto Title Loans Arizona experts at My Tio Rico have compiled a step-by-step guide to help you make sure you know exactly what you’re doing, while maintaining a good idea of your finances, visits, and sanity!

  1. Check Your Credit: Get a free credit report from the official government website: www.AnnualCreditReport.com. You’ll need a minimum score of 585 and inaccuracies in your credit report could possibly hurt your score.
  1. Pay Down Debts: When you can, try to pay off all other loans. This can both help your credit score and help you save lots of money in the long run.
  1. Have Your Down Payment Ready: If you’re not currently paying your maximum mortgage payment amount in rent, be sure to save that excess for a down payment.
  1. How Much Can You Afford Per Month? Calculate your debt-to-income ratio by using online calculators and making a tight budget. The rule of thumb here is to keep in mind that a mortgage should be no more than 30% of your income before taxes.
  1. Test Your Maintenance Skills: Are you willing to work on a home or will you need something in better condition? This will alter the price you pay for a home significantly.
  1. Home “Needs” vs. “Wants”: Visualize what you want in a home and then determine what is actually most important to you.
  1. Research Neighborhoods: How far are you willing to commute to work? What areas around you are the safest? Where are the best school systems or community events?
  1. Investigate Real Estate Agents: Be sure to do your homework when it comes to the people you’re going to be talking to. Get recommendations and then hire a buyer’s agent who you deem reliable.
  1. Compile Important Documents: Get your W-2 forms, pay stubs, proof of income, bank statements, and loan balances from all lenders in a place that’s safe and readily available.
  1. Loan Qualifications: Between the HUB, FHA, and VA home-buying programs, there are several different loans you could qualify for that will help you afford a mortgage.
  1. Lender Quotes: Make sure to comparison shop with all the quotes you receive from different lenders. You can use lenders’ websites to compare the best quotes in a spreadsheet all at once.
  1. Loan Pre-Approval: Not sure where to start? Approval is easy with My Tio Rico! Learn More about the Auto Title Loans Arizona program we have to offer by visiting this page. Then review your paperwork with a broker or lender to see how much you’re approved for.
  1. Browse Listings & Visit Open Houses: Check out all houses and open houses within your budget. This will take up a lot of your weekends and free time but the more options you have the better! See what homes you like and compare them to your list of priorities.
  1. Choose & Make An Offer: For some, this may be the most difficult part of the process!
  1. Negotiations: Real estate agents will help handle this part. You might also consider offering to buy furnishings you like that are currently in the house. Many sellers are willing to sell large pieces of furniture at a heavily discounted price in order to avoid having to pay to move it away.
  1. Inspections: Don’t get your hopes up right away! There’s still a few vital steps you must take before closing any deals! Have your potential new home checked for radon, asbestos, toxic mold, and other issues.  If any problems are found, it will factor into your financial negotiations.
  1. Performing Walk-Throughs: Before you close any deals, do a thorough check for water damage, leaks, bowed windows, foundation cracks, animal droppings, termite or other bug evidence, and heater noises. It’s also a good idea to make sure you get your hands on a history report of any damages or events that have happened in the home.
  1. Homeowners’ Association Contract: A strict or not-strict-enough HOA can be a headache if you don’t know about it ahead of time.
  1. Homeowners’ Insurance: You’ll need proof of insurance before you’ll be able to close the deal.
  1. Close The Deal!

Did these steps help you in your search for a new home? Give us your feedback! As always, if you need any more information on becoming approved for a loan in order to help your mortgage situation, contact the experts at My Tio Rico in order to learn more about our Auto Title Loans Arizona program or fill out the form to the right!