Four Things First Time Homebuyers Should Know

June 24, 2013

Equifax First Time Homebuyer TipsWith historic low mortgage interest rates and home prices being more affordable than they’ve been in decades, many first-time buyers have decided that now is the perfect time to become homeowners. But buying a home may be the most important financial decision one can make, so there is much that buyers need to know about the process itself. The real estate pros at the Equifax Finance Blog came up with the following tips for home buyers, in the recent article, “

First-Time Homebuyers: The Four Mistakes You Need to Avoid.”

  • Know Your Credit Score: Buyers need to know their credit score so that they know their standing when it comes to their ability to get financing for a mortgage. A better credit score will mean easier financing and better lending terms; a worse score could mean higher interest rates or the inability to get financed all together. A buyer should know where they stand before even looking for a home. Buyers can check their credit for free three times per year from the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and should practice good credit behaviors, like paying their bills on time and keeping low balances on credit cards.
  • Know the Pre-Qualification Process: Buyers should get pre-qualified as early as possible in their home buying process. Being pre-qualified not only lets buyers know how much they can afford, it gives them a leg up against other buyers (in the case of a bidding war).
  • Know Home Values and Prices: Buyers should research the home values and home prices in the areas in which they’re looking to buy a home. There are lots of websites that provide this information, but sorting through it can be time consuming and confusing. Buyers can get an idea about prices by looking online but should also ask their real estate agent for this information. An agent can provide recent sales statistics for specific areas and can help put sales prices in perspective for a buyer.
  • Assemble the right team: Home buyers need a team that has their best interests at heart. The best way to find these people is not by looking online, but by word of mouth. Buyers should ask their friends, coworkers and family members for recommendations on agents that are knowledgeable, experienced and trustworthy. Buyers should have confidence in their agent.

Finding the right agent, knowing home prices, getting pre-qualified and knowing your credit will go a long way toward preparing a buyer for the home buying process and avoiding common buying pitfalls/mistakes.

Visit the Equifax Finance blog for more real estate advice, as well as advice and articles on topics like retirement, insurance, credit,

identity theft statistics and more.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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