East Texas First Time Home Buyers

Your Dream Home in Lindale is Ready to Meet You!

Buying your first home is a big deal! And it can seem pretty intimidating if you're not entirely sure where to start. But we'd like to reassure you that buying a home doesn't have to be scary or stressful—in fact, it should be exciting! Take some time to learn a little more about the homebuying process and where you should start. Feeling overwhelmed, have questions, or ready to get started? Contact us at any time!

Part 1: Understanding Your Mortgage

One of the biggest areas of confusion for many buyers is the mortgage. What options are out there? How do you get one? Do you need a 20% down payment? Relax—we've got answers!

Types of Mortgages

There are a LOT of different mortgage options out there. Some are quite common, others very rare. The type of mortgage that works best for your will depend on your unique situation—your finances, the type of home you're buying, your marital status, and more. Here are a few of the more common mortgage types used by first-time buyers.

Conventional

When you think of the "typical mortgage", this is probably what you're thinking of. You'll need to have good credit, solid income, low debts, and a down payment of at least 10%.

VA Loan

The VA loan is an advantageous option available to most active or veteran service members. In addition to lower credit and income requirements, it also requires as little as 0% down.

Government Loans

Depending on your financial situation, you may qualify for a subsidized government loan program, such as the FHA or USDA loans. These allow buyers with lower credit or down payments to buy homes.

What Do Mortgages Include?

Your mortgage isn't just a return of the money you borrow to pay for your home. Here's a quick look at everything your mortgage entails.

Principal

This is the initial amount borrowed from your lender. In short, it's the price of your home, minus your down payment.

Interest

This is a payment to the lender for money borrowed. It's calculated as a percentage of the total amount borrowed.

Taxes

The annual city and county taxes assessed on your property are typically bundled into your mortgage payments.

Insurance

Like taxes, homeowners insurance is often bundled into your mortgage payments. You pay the lender, they pay your insurance company.

Going Loan Shopping & Getting Prequalified

Now that you know a little more about (a few of) the loan options out there, it's time to actually go out and get a loan! Wait... it's not as scary as it sounds, promise! Here's what to do.

Ask for referrals

How do you find a good lender? The best way is to ask around. Check with friends, family, or coworkers, and definitely ask your Realtor for recommendations.

Start calling

Once you've got a few names, all you've got to do is pick up the phone and start calling! Lenders will likely want to discuss your goals, your income and savings, and where you'll be buying.

Hear some options

Based on the information you provide, your lenders will likely give you a few loan options, what they'll entail, and how much you might be looking to spend based on various home prices and down payments.

Get prequalified

Most lenders will want to gather some paperwork from you—and present you with an official prequalification letter. We highly recommend taking this step! Getting prequalified does not obligate you to work with a lender.

Part 2: Shopping Homes for Sale in Lindale

Congratulations: you're prequalified for a mortgage! Now comes the fun part: home shopping! But before you jump right in, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind.

Separate wants & needs

Odds are, you're not going to get everything you want and need in a home. It's important to take time to separate the must-haves (the essentials) from the would be nice-es (the wants-but-not-needs). You may have to forgo a want for a need, but never the other way around!

Be a little choosy

Now that you know what you definitely need to have in a home, don't waste your time visiting homes that don't meet your needs! There are a lot of homes out there, and it's easy to get overwhelmed or even discouraged by taking on too much. Make your life easier by eliminating homes that don't fit your criteria.

Inspect homes closely

When you do go visit homes, make sure you take a good, hard look. Don't get caught up in fresh paint or fancy updates—keep an eye on the bones of the house, the foundation, structure, and walls. Take pictures. Make notes. Open closets and peek into nooks and crannies. Remember, a home is a big financial investment!

Part 3: Making an Offer

You found a home you love! Now it's time to decide on an asking price... and make an offer. Deep breath. You've got this.

Offer, Negotiate & Sign

Sit down with your agent to determine an acceptable offer price. This should be based on comparative homes recently sold in the area. Your agent can help you find a price that's comfortable to you—but still appealing to the seller. Once you find a price, your agent will write up your offer! Here's what the process looks like.

The Purchase & Sale

The Purchase and Sale Agreement is your official offer. It will include details like your determined asking price, your preferred closing date, and any requested contingencies, such as a home inspection and appraisal.

Negotiations

The seller now has three choices: they may accept your offer exactly as it is, they may reject it entirely, or they may present a counteroffer with adjusted terms or price. Now the ball is back in your court—and you've got the same three options.

The inspection

After you and the seller agree on a price and terms, you'll schedule a home inspection. For any issues that come up during the inspection, you may request repairs, credits, or a price reduction, or back out of the sale all together.

Part 4: Closing the Sale

Once you and the seller have agreed on price and negotiated for any repairs or credits following the home inspection, you'll need to finalize your mortgage and get ready to close on your new home! It's almost time to get keys!

The Final Steps

This final stage of home buying is probably the most tedious—it's really just a lot of paperwork, signing, faxing or scanning, and gathering more paperwork. Deep breath. You'll get through this. The end is in sight!

Finalize your loan

Your lender will take the reins here... but be prepared to dig up a lot of (seemingly unimportant) financial and personal documentation. This might be tax returns, income statements, bank statements, employment or job letters... and more.

Sign & pay

Once your mortgage is approved, your closing date will be finalized. On that day, you, your realtor, your lender (or their attorney), and the seller's agent will sit down to finalize all the paperwork. There's a lot of signing... but most of the hard work is already done.

Get those keys!

Once you hand over the biggest check you'll probably ever write (or request from the bank, since it should be certified funds), you'll get the keys to your NEW HOME! Congrats, homeowner! You did it!

Ready to Buy Your First Home in Lindale?

It all begins with finding the right Realtor. Want to know more about how we can help you become a successful first time home buyer? Check out our real estate resources, or just give us a call; we'd love to chat with you directly.