First-Time Buyers

First Time Home Buyers Tips

Have you been thinking if now is a good time to buy? There may be many questions you have about today's Tacoma real estate market.

Can you still buy?  How much can you afford?   It seems like a big undertaking.

All these thoughts are valid and normal for first time home buyers. If you have been renting for a while and decided you would like more freedom in your home, now is a great time to pursue investing in real estate.

The very first thing you will want to do is go over all your finances. This is more than just checking out your bank statement. This involved looking over your credit report, finances, income, assets and liabilities or debts. Before you sit down with a lender you will want to have full knowledge of your financial situation. Its also a good idea to start collecting documents lenders will need as you go through this process.

  • Tax returns
  • Credit reports
  • Bank statements
  • W-2's and paycheck stubs

All these items are information a lender will need when it comes time to apply for a loan. Right now they are a good snapshot of your current financial situation.

Make sure you have some money in the back before you begin to look. Even though there are still 100% financing out there it looks much better to lenders if you have a reserve set aside. Its also good to have some money for out of pocket expenses such as earnest money deposits and inspection costs.

Once you have a clear knowledge of your finances and have some reserve cash built up, its a great time to sit with a lender and go over all your options for loans. The lender can be a private lender, bank, credit union or mortgage broker. Brokers tend to cost more on the fees but have access to thousands of programs and loans that individual banks do not.

Once the lender has given you an idea of how much home your budget can afford it's time to look at homes. Give our office a call with what you are looking for but its also good to make a list of the things you want in a home, the things you don't want and those that are tolerable if the right home came along.

And remember, just because you can afford a $300,000 home doesn't mean you have to buy one that expensive. Consider going lower than your means to be able to have money for unexpected things such a repairs or appliance replacements.

If you have any more questions or are ready for more information on any one of these steps please feel free to contact us anytime. We are experts in all Pierce and Thurston County real estate.


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