A Financial Guide to Buying Your First Home

There is no question that buying a home is a very big deal, and there are a lot of financial aspects that you need to take into consideration. This is definitely not something that you want to rush into, because you will most likely regret it. The more time you take to consider these things from every angle, the better off you will be. Buying a home can either be a wonderful thing or extremely damaging to your finances, depending on how you approach it.

Clear Your Debt

Before you apply to get a home loan, you absolutely need to make a point of clearing away all your debt. Take care of all your outstanding balances so that you have absolutely nothing left to pay off. This will improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage. It will also make it easier to make your monthly loan payments from the start.

Consider Borrowing from a Private Lender

You should at least think about borrowing money from a private lender just like you would with a regular short term loan. There are many benefits to doing this, such as a lower interest rate. Once you start looking into the deals that these lenders have to offer, you won’t be able to resist. There is also the fact that your chances of getting approved with a private lender are much higher than with a bank.

Banks typically have very high standards for applicants. If your credit isn’t very good, this is definitely an option that you should consider. There are lots of private mortgage lenders based online, so you need to take enough time to look into your options. Even a smaller loan from a private lender could help you get enough to buy the house you want.

How Much Can You Afford?

When you want to get a loan to buy a house, you have to figure out exactly how much you can afford. The lender will ultimately determine whether or not you can afford to pay back your loan, but it’s still important to do this. You need to take a close look at your finances to figure out if taking out this type of loan is really a good idea. It is a huge long-term commitment, so you have to be sure. Don’t forget to factor in the interest on your loan when you are crunching the numbers.

Make a Reasonable Down Payment

Since the size of your down payment will partially determine your interest rate, you should pay as much as you can in advance. If you don’t currently have a lot to spend on a down payment, you should think about saving up. The last thing you should do is get a zero down payment loan, because your interest rate will be astronomically high. While the idea of putting off getting a loan might not be appealing, it could be a good idea. The fact is that you should not get a loan unless you have enough money for at least a 10 or 15% down payment. A 20% down payment is ideal but not absolutely necessary for everyone.

Your Loan Term

Many people who get a home loan are tempted to go with a longer term because they will have more time to pay off the money. And while this can seem like a good idea at the time, you’ll end up spending more over the long term. A longer term means paying more interest, so you have to keep that in mind. Opting for a shorter payback period for your loan will help you save quite a bit of money. You obviously need to make sure that you can pay back the loan in the amount of time that you are given though.

Fixed Rate vs. Variable Rate

Some people get a fixed rate with their home loan while others get a variable rate. It is important to consider the benefits and drawbacks of each. A fixed rate mortgage means that your interest rate will remain the same for the entire length of your loan. A variable rate loan is where the interest rate can fluctuate over time. Most people tend to favour a fixed rate, as there is no danger of it increasing.

Preapproval

If you have a decent amount of money saved up for your down payment, you can get preapproved. This will give you a distinct advantage when it comes to getting a good deal on the house of your dreams. It shows sellers that you are a serious buyer, which can give you an edge on other prospective buyers. If you want to make getting a new house as easy as possible, you definitely want to do this. The preapproval process doesn’t take very long, and you will be glad you decided to do it.

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