Tips for First-time Home Buyers

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Happy Milwaukee Day! We want to thank everyone for making Milwaukee a great community to live in. If you are new to the community, or purchasing a new house in the area for the first time we wanted to give you a few helpful tips. It’s easy for first-time home buyers to feel intimidated by the process of purchasing their first home. There is also a lot of excitement going on at this time and many things to consider before you sign the final papers. Here are a few tips that might be helpful to you if you’re purchasing a house for the first time.

1. Use Guardian Credit Union’s mortgage calculator to see what your payment would be. You can use any of our three calculators to get a better insight: Maximum Mortgage, Mortgage Payoff, and Mortgage Qualifier.

2. Always consider what fits your needs. There are several options when purchasing a home such as a traditional single-family home, a condo, or possibly a townhouse. Each property has its benefits and depending on what your looking for, you need to consider what is best for you. It is also important to not let appearances allow you to make up your mind and settle on a property right away.  The goal of finding a great home is to make sure you don’t get caught up in something trivial such as the great color scheme of the house, but to make sure the appliances are updated, or their is no evidence of faulty foundation. When unexpected costs for new appliances or plumbing problems come up, there isn’t a landlord to turn to anymore, and these costs come at a high price. Also consider that a fixer-upper can be a better bargain if you have time on your hands, being optimistic during this process is key.

3. Check the selling price of comparable homes in your area. Do this by doing a search of MSL listings in your area. I found this website to be helpful. 

4. Details, details, details are important. Knowing the details will help you have an idea of how much you are willing to spend before you go house-hunting. Fannie Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28 percent of their income on housing costs. Go much past 30 percent or you could be at risk. Consider these questions before finding your dream home. How much cash have you set aside for a down payment and for closing costs? What are your payment and interest rate options, and how long of a mortgage term are you comfortable with? What will your total monthly housing cost be, including taxes and homeowners insurance?

These are just a few tips to make the process of purchasing a house for the first time less stressful. Remember that this is a brief overview of helpful hints to get you started. It is important for you to consider many aspects while house-hunting.

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