Buying a house is a thrilling process that you’ll never forget. You’ll be nervous and excited all at once. There’s so much that goes into making such a significant purchase that you want to ensure you do it right.

Resources for Buying a Home

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of buying your dream home, and you forget the actual costs of home ownership. Home buying is so much more than searching the internet for new listings or calling a local realtor. Here are a few resources you must check before signing on the dotted line.

1. Insurance Company

First and foremost, you need to protect your investment. The lender won’t close on the home until they have insurance and tax monies paid in advance. They need to see that you have adequate funds to cover the upkeep and ongoing expenses of the property.

There are plenty of websites that offer free quotes, or you can call an agent in your local area for information. Figuring the cost of insurance into your budget is imperative. Discounts can help you save money if you bundle your car and home together.

If you have recreational vehicles in addition to a car and home, then you can get even more savings. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best price, as insurance is a costly part of home ownership.

2. City Auditor

Your city auditor site is a treasure trove of information. Here you can find all sorts of things like the dates of previous sales, tax data, and upgrades. Make sure that the city auditor’s site matches the home’s listing.

It’s not uncommon to find that the listing and website have inconsistencies. Any discrepancies need to be researched as either the listing or the website is wrong. However, you can use this information to see how much the taxes will run and if you can afford the home.

Incorrect data can also affect the value of the home, so it’s important to make sure that everything is permitted, and any upgrades are done correctly.

3. FICO Score

There are three major credit bureaus, each of which tells a different story. You might be surprised to learn that not all lenders report to all bureaus. Your credit score will range across the board, so you must know the bureaus that the lender of choice will use.

Most take two and get an average to ensure you have the proper range for a prime interest rate. If one agency is reporting your FICO drastically lower than the others, then you need to see what’s dragging the score down. Fixing reporting errors can help you get the best rate.

4. Mortgage Calculator

You need to know the price of the home, the interest rate you’ll get, and the taxes and insurance information so that you can use a mortgage affordability calculator. These little devices will help you see whether you can afford a home.

The sticker price may be in your range, and it seems you can afford the house. Consequently, when you consider all the other expenses involved, it’s not affordable. These calculators can help you see actual costs and make determinations based on your budget.

5. Current Interest Rates

Interest rates are constantly changing, so you want to ensure you get a good deal. Just a few points up or down can make a significant difference in your monthly payment. Don’t forget to check out lenders like the USDA or FHA.

FHA caters to first-time homebuyers, but anyone can get a USDA loan if the home is in a rural area and the income aligns. Your interest rate is primarily based on the type of loan you get and the terms. If you’re considering a loan that you put 20 percent down on and have a fixed rate, then you will get a better rate than an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Final Thoughts on Home Buying Resources

You must never go into the home buying process without doing some homework. Additionally, you need a good realtor by your side to help you navigate these uncharted territories.

Don’t be eager to jump into the first home you buy, as you will likely live to regret it. With time and patience, you can find the perfect home for you and your family to enjoy. 

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