The home buying process can be a confusing and stressful time. This is especially true for first time home buyers. Just like any major purchase or change in life, research is very important. It is always best to read and learn as much as possible prior to diving into a huge life changing event. The end outcome is always worth it. You will have a place to call your home.
Buying a home is a major purchase and it will involve paperwork. It is best to get as organized as possible. Get together all your financial information and organize it so you can easily find any requested paperwork.
Besides needing to organize your personal belongings, be prepared to receive paperwork as well. Get a folder, get some sticky notes and file any and everything given to you. You don't know when you might need to go back and reference something. This will greatly reduce your stress.
Organize and check all your personal information. Do you know your credit score right now? There are plenty of free monitoring sites. Get yourself signed up to one before plunging into your home search.
TRUST YOUR BROKER
After getting yourself organized, you will have a clearer understanding of your bills and financial standing. Running out to the first open house isn't necessarily the best next option. You need to have a clear understanding of how much you can spend on a home. This is when you get prequalified. Speak to a broker about your finances and they will help find the budget you need to stay within.
Getting prequalified is the easy part. Once you are under a contract with a home the mortgage process begins. This is why you broker will play one of the most important roles in your home buying process. If you go to a large bank the possibility of getting bounced around from person to person and receiving unclear answers are pretty high.
If you go to a smaller local business you can personally meet your broker. They can help explain all the fees and details to you. They are there to find a mortgage that works for you, not the bank. If something feels off, it most likely is. This might be one of the biggest loans you ever take out, why would you not want to be confident in the person helping you through this?