(1) Shopping for a
house before a mortgage
It is so much more
fun to look at homes than it is to talk about your finances with a lender. So
that’s what a lot of first-time home buyers do: They visit properties before
finding out how much they are able to borrow. Then, they are disappointed when
they discover they were looking in the wrong price range (either too high or
too low) or when they find that right home they scramble to get financing, and
the mortgage is not something you want to rush or put too little of time in to.
In today’s housing market you want to show home sellers you are a serious buyer
and able to make a serious offer when you find that right home.
How to avoid this mistake: Talk to a mortgage
professional about getting pre-qualified or even preapproved for a home loan
before you start to seriously shop for a place. The pre-qualification or
preapproval process involves a review of your credit, income and expenses. Having
a per-qualification/pre-approval letter in hand will make your offer more
competitive, and most offers today must have this letter.
(2) Not looking for first-time home buyer
As a first-time
home buyer, you probably don’t have a ton of money saved up for the down
payment and closing costs. But don’t make the error of assuming that you have
to delay homeownership while saving for a huge down payment. There are plenty
of low-down-payment loan programs out there.
Besides low down
payment mortgage programs there is a lot of down payment assistance programs available
to first time home buyers. Many times the funds that are available to you from
DPA (down payment assistance) Programs will cover your entire down payment.
Even if you have saved enough for a low down payment mortgage program keeping
your savings in your pocket will allow you to pay with cash for the items you
need for your new home. I see too many home buyers use credit to purchase new
home items, increasing your monthly credit obligations just after purchasing a
Visit my website
at http://www.bobrutledge.com/MODPA to learn more about what is available in the State of Missouri!
How to avoid this mistake: Ask a mortgage lender about
your options. You might qualify for a Veterans Administration or U.S.
Department of Agriculture loan that doesn’t require a down payment. Federal
Housing Administration loans have a minimum down payment of 3.5%, and some
conventional loan programs allow down payments as low as 3%. Ask about down
payment assistance programs as well. Do your own homework too, search for DPA
programs in your area.
(3) Not hiring a buyer’s agent
Too many home buyers
make this mistake! Do not make the mistake of working directly with the
seller’s real estate agent, who was first hired and obligated to secure the
best price and terms for the seller. Do not be persuaded that a Real Estate
Agent can negotiate in all fairness to both sides, it is impossible. As a
novice home buyer, you could be overmatched when negotiating with an
experienced agent who’s working on the seller’s behalf.
How to avoid this mistake: Work with an exclusive
buyer’s agent, who has a duty to work in your best interests. If you do not know
a real estate agent, seek out referrals from your friends and family. But, if
you are working with a Mortgage Lender they will know many qualified real
estate agents in the area and especially an agent who will fit your needs.
(4) Using up all of your savings
If you buy a
previously owned home, it almost inevitably will need an unexpected repair not
long after. Maybe you’ll need to replace a water heater, repair a crack in the
chimney or get rid of hidden mold.
Having money in
your account after you close is one of the best situations for any home buyer.
Besides the home repairs that will come, what about the small items that will
be needed for your new home the moment you move in.
Using your own funds
and not your credit cards will keep you from increasing your debt loan. You
have a new house payment, normally at or higher than your previous rent, try
not to add to your monthly debt with additional credit card purchases if you
don’t have to.
Read about my ZERO
PROGRAM at http://www.bobrutledge.com/zero-down-payment-closing-costs and how easy it is for new home buyers keep their savings in their
to avoid this mistake: Save enough money to make a down payment, pay for closing costs
and moving expenses, and take care of unexpected expenses. This is easier said
than done. But you can buy a home with a down payment of much less than 20%,
allowing you to conserve your savings.
(5) Ignoring a home’s flaws and drawbacks
A lot of
first-time home buyers fall in love with one of the first properties they look
at. They ignore the negatives of the house and its neighborhood.
But you can’t disregard
the downsides forever. For example, you might think you’ll be OK with a
long commute, but after a few months of spending too many hours stuck in
traffic, you’ll wish you had bought a house closer to work.
How to avoid this mistake: Do two things. First,
resolve to visit many of houses before
making an offer, you’ll be less likely to fall in love with the first or second
or third home you look at.
Second, write a list of the
attractive and the unattractive qualities of each house, and pay attention to
each home’s downsides.
(6) Being indecisive
The flip side of
choosing a place too quickly is acting too slowly when you find the right home.
In a market with more buyers than sellers, you have to move fast.
I see this a lot when I first
pre-approve a home buyer, they needed some time to think about it and made an
offer two or three days after viewing a house, only to discover that another
buyer had swooped in and made a successful offer. This will only happen to you
after the first couple times, but by then you will know what you want in a
home. If this happens to you know that it is normal and simply a part of the
learning process of being a first time home buyer…..all things happen for a
How to avoid this mistake: Once you look at multiple
houses, and you get a feel of the market and you know what the market is like
and where the prices are at, and you see something you like, don’t hesitate to
make an offer, because you and 10 other people will be interested in that same
property, this is today’s housing market.
(7) Overpaying for a house
home buyers tend to pay more than experienced buyers would pay for the same
house, according to research conducted by two economists with the Federal
Housing Finance Agency. In their analysis of appraisal data from more than 1.7
million home sales, FHFA economists Jessica Shui and Shriya Murthy concluded
that first-timers overpay by an average of 0.79%, which was nearly $2,200 per
house, according to the data set they examined.
and Murthy pointed to the inexperience of first-time home buyers. Real
estate agents say newbie buyers let their emotions take over, too. First Time
Home Buyers tend to overlook potential negatives and only look at the positives
of a particular house. I tell me home buyers to act with their heads and not
with their heart, but I know I am asking for the impossible so just use as much
of one as the other.
How to avoid this mistake: Ask your agent for
a competitive market analysis, a report that looks at the prices of comparable
nearby homes that have been sold recently. And it helps to fully understand the
real estate process, so seek out as much information as possible. If you
have friend that recently went through the process or are currently seek out
(8) Skipping the home inspection
markets, a lot of buyers compete for a small number of properties for sale. In
these strong seller’s markets, buyers are tempted to waive a home inspection.
It gives them a competitive edge over smarter buyers who wouldn’t dream of
forgoing an inspection before plunking down hundreds of thousands of dollars
for a home.
It’s a HUGE
mistake to buy a previously owned home without an inspection because there
could be expensive, hidden damage that you wouldn’t spot but an inspector
How to avoid this mistake: Simple: NEVER EVER ALLOW
THIS TO HAPPEN. Hire a licensed home inspector. Your real estate agent will
gladly make a recommendation, but it’s better to hire an inspector of your own
choosing who doesn’t depend on your agent for referrals. Plus, require that a
home inspection contingency is included in your sales contract, your BUYER AGENT
who represent you will help you get this negotiated in the sale contract.
(9) Underestimating the costs of ownership
After you buy a
home, the monthly bills keep stacking up. This can come as a surprise if you’re
Keep in mind it’s not just
your mortgage payment, you’re going to have the utilities bills that you did
not or may not have been paying when you rented.
Renters may have been paying
these kinds of bills, too. But the new home could very possibly have
higher costs simply because your new home is bigger. Your house may come with
entirely new bills, such as homeowner association fees.
How to avoid this mistake: Work with a real estate
agent who can tell you how much the neighborhood’s property taxes and insurance
typically cost. Ask to see the seller’s utility bills for the last 12 months
the home was occupied so you have an idea how much they will cost after you
move in. Ask for a seller disclosure for every house you are interested
in, many times this will help you.
(10) Miscalculating repair and renovation
First-time home buyers are frequently surprised by high repair
and renovation costs. Buyers can make two mistakes: First, they get a repair
estimate from just one contractor, and the estimate is unrealistically low.
Second, their perspective is distorted by reality TV shows that make
renovations look faster, cheaper and easier than they are in the real world.
How to avoid this mistake: Assume that all repair
estimates are low.
Seek more than one estimate
for expensive repairs, such as roof replacements. A good real estate agent
should be able to give you referrals to contractors who can give you estimates.
But also seek independent referrals from friends, family and co-workers so you
can compare those estimates against ones you receive from contractors your
purchasing a home in need of repairs with a renovation mortgage program that
will allow you to use your mortgage to purchase your home as well as fund the
repair/renovation costs all in one new home loan. Want to learn more about
renovation mortgages visit my website to Learn More About Renovation Mortgages at http://www.bobrutledge.com/HomeStyle-Renovation-Mortgage
MINIMUM DOWN PAYMENT OPTIONS:
There are two great mortgage programs that allow for a ZERO down payment, that's right zip, nada, nothing, etc. The USDA Rural Development and the VA Mortgage Program does not require a down payment along with the added value of super low interest rates in normal conditions.
The FHA Mortgage is referred by many as the first time home buyer home loan, not only because of the easier underwriting, lower required credit scores, and higher debt ratios but because of the minimum down payment requirement of only 3.5% of the sales price!
Conventional mortgages are those insured by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, this is the loan program that many think requires at least a 20% down payment. For the most part conventional mortgages have a minimum down payment requirement of only 5%! Recently, Fannie Mae came out with a new mortgage program that has very relaxed underwriting guidelines that only requires a 3% down payment.
Down Payment Assitance or Grants:
In the St. Louis area including St. Charles and Jefferson County there are basically 2 down payment assistance programs available though one of the down payment assistance programs is coordinated with your mortgage lender through several different groups.
MHDC; some time referred to as First Place Loans. This program is offered through the State of Missouri and is provided throughout the state and not just the St. Louis Mo area. This program is strictly for First Time Home Buyers, a first time home buyer is basically anyone who has not owned a home or had the advantage of home ownership over the past 3 years.
This down payment assistance program can only be provided through approved mortgage lenders, not all lenders in the area want to work with the MHDC program.This program will provide up to 4.5% of the loan amount for down payment and closing costs assistance. This makes this a very good program to work with the FHA mortgage minimum down payment requirement of 3.5% and then you have a little extra to apply to closing costs.
1st Home Program;This payment assistance is also only for first time home buyers. The program is available in St. Louis City, St. Louis County with Florissant having their own separate version of the same program, Jefferson County, and St. Charles County plus with nearly every city/entity in the county having a version of this program.
There are income restrictions, guideline restrictions, underwriting restrictions, and more that I highly suggest that you only work with a mortgage loan officer very experienced with down payment assistance. Don't lose the money that is available to you or create delays that can happen because of lack of experience.
More Options to Help
23 Down Payment Options! There are a lot of options listed within the FHA and Conventional mortgage underwriting guidelines that tell mortgage loan officers where home buyers can obtain their down payment. The FHA mortgage programs lists 23 options that may be something you can do already, here are some favorites and some not so well known;
These are just a few of the ideas and options available to you to help fund you down payment.CLOSING COST HELP; there are always closing costs involved in the process of buying and financing a new home purchase, over and above your down payment. Having those closing costs paid for by you is sometimes as much as the down payment but always a cost that can be avoided.There are many options available to you to have most if not all of your closing costs paid for by others and not you. It takes a consolidated team effort of your, your mortgage lender, and your real estate agent to make this happen. But it is possible that through your mortgage program, down payment assistance, seller concessions, and lender credits that it can become possible to purchase a new home with little to zero out of pocket expense.
YOU BUY YOUR NEXT HOME WITH LITTLE TO ZERO OUT OF POCKET! Down P