The process of buying a home was super stressful for me. When I was exploring the idea of buying a home, I made sure that I had a realistic idea of what was involved. To see if becoming a homeowner was possible, I did two things:
One: I attended a first-time homeowner seminar.
My credit union hosted the seminar. Realtors and mortgage loan officers from the credit union were in attendance. Some of the topics covered during the seminar were:
- How much house can I afford?
- Homebuying costs
- Understanding Credit Scores
- Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Grants & Gifts
- What’s included in a house payment
Two: I spoke with a mortgage loan officer
A few days after the seminar, I spoke with a mortgage loan officer from my credit union. I wanted to know if I had a realistic shot at becoming a homeowner, so I asked the following questions:
- Was I in good standing to buy a home?
- If I wasn’t in good standing what steps do I need to take to get in good standing?
- How much house can I comfortably afford?
- I say comfortably because if you qualify for a higher amount than what you’re comfortable with, you don’t have to buy a home at that higher amount.
- If I brought a home at an amount I’m comfortable with, roughly how much will closing costs be?
- Are there any programs that help first-time homeowners with closing costs?
- What are the costs involved with the homeownership process (e.g., application fee, earnest money, etc.).
I didn’t have to provide any financial documents for this conversation. Instead, I provided the mortgage loan officer with financial figures that were accurate as of the day of the conversation. This helped me get a more realistic idea of what I was working with.
You don’t have to speak with someone from your credit union. However, I would strongly suggest that you speak with a well-qualified individual that takes your needs/wants into consideration. Purchasing your home is one accomplishment. Keeping your home is another.
Until next time,