If you are a first time home buyer in Houston, the search for home or apartment in Houston can be both an exciting and stressful process at the same time. As a first time home buyer, you will find it difficult to know what to expect when buying a home in Houston, but those issues can be resolved if you do financial prep work, and thorough research before you start your Houston home and apartment search.
From the moment you considered buying an home in Houston, to the moment you will eventually close the deal might actually take longer than you expected. So we hope to help you not to waste time with our tips below.
Tips For Buying A Home In Houston
First of all, you need to know that Houston continues to be ranked as one of the healthiest and growing housing market in the country, despite all the falling oil prices.
• Be Clear About the Home You Want
You need to be clear and sure about the type of home you want first. Do you want a townhouse or single family in Houston, or a 2 bedroom apartment, or a condo?
Are you the type of person that values privacy a lot? Do you only to limit your Houston home search within a distance to your job or some services you use regularly?
It is important to be clear about all these things, and other things before you even start anything. This will make your Houston home search easier because your realtor to even narrow down the search, and only show you homes that are within your criteria so you won’t have any trouble choosing one.
• Choose the House You Know You Can Afford
Be honest with yourself about what you can truly afford, and what you can not afford. If you spend more than you can afford on your mortgage, you may not be able to afford the daily needs like feeding, or you may not be able to save for the future too. Apart from the mortgage, you need to take the principal, the interest, and the taxes into consideration during your Houston home search.
• Start Saving For Your Down Payment
Although you might have plans to buy an home in Houston in six months time, and not immediately. The reality is that irrespective of the time you plan to make the purchase of the apartment, you should start saving for a down payment NOW!
This is because most realtors will tell you that you have to pay at least a down payment of 20% before you can secure the home. Most people are usually unable to get this kind of money quickly, so they end up losing the home they love so much.
Yes, there are a lot of home buying programs out there today that will allow you to make a down payment as low as 4%, but paying a little down payment for Houston home means your monthly costs will be increased since you will have have to pay for mortgage insurance.
• Research about The Programs That Exist For First Time Home Buyers In Houston
There are many first time programs and grants that are made available for first time home buyers in Houston. These programs and grants can offer you financial help, and they can render some other type of assistance too. However, when you are choosing the one you think is best for you, it is important to know that all the programs and grants come with different benefits and requirements. There are programs made available for first time home buyers that do not have a good credit history too. So all you have to do is to just search for the best one that suits your condition.
• Keep the Major Purchases On Hold For Now
When you are planning to purchase Houston apartments, you have to put every other major purchase that can have an effect on your credit card on hold. Especially when the major purchase can change the amount, your lender wants to loan you.
For instance, let’s say you plan to lease a new car before you purchase your apartment, or you plan to buy expensive equipment that you want to use in the new apartment. The truth is, you need to delay these purchases for some time first because leasing new purchases before your apartment purchase will increase your Debt-To-Income Ratio. Which means you will have difficulty getting qualified for a mortgage loan.
However, if the major purchase is highly important and can not be avoided or put on hold, then ensure you talk to your lending officer about the purchase before you go ahead with it.
• You Must Save Money for The Closing Costs
One of the biggest mistakes most people make when buying Houston apartments is not budgeting for the closing costs.
What are closing costs?
These are some other expenses apart from the money you will use to purchase the apartment. They are; home inspection costs, title searches, and expenses for homeowner’s insurance. Yes, some people usually ask the seller to pay for the closing costs in some cases. However, you should reserve at least 5% of your loan or money saved for these closing costs, just in case the seller is not able to pay them.
Also, apart from saving money for the closing costs, you should also reserve or save money for some other expenses you will make when you move into the home. Like the cost of painting, fixtures, new furnishings, appliances, and some other personal things you might be interested in doing when you move into the apartment.
• Choose a Trusted Realtor and Loan officer
Using a realtor and loan officer that is trusted, and also highly experienced can make a big difference in your home buying experience. Choosing an expert realtor with good negotiating skills will make your Houston apartment buying process as smooth as possible.
Finally, remember that the more knowledgeable you are about the process, the less stressful it will be. So don’t hesitate to ask your realtor questions, and also talk to people you trust too.
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