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10 Tips for First Time Home Buyers You Probably Didn't Know (But Should)

The time has come. You’re ready to make the transition from renter to homeowner, but aren’t sure where to start.

With so many types of homes and loan options, crossing the finishing line and closing on your dream home can seem like a daunting task. Take a look at our top 10 tips to make your life as easy as possible during the home buying process.

1. Know what type of home best meets your needs.

Understanding what type of home fits your needs and wants is crucial when purchasing your first home. Mortgages, down payments, and lending options can vary from home type to home type. Seek out what meets your criteria, provides you with a home you love, and fits in your budget.

2. Find a trusted real estate agent.

Just like trusting your lender, you must trust your real estate agent. They should not only understand how many bathrooms and bedrooms you want in a home, but also how much you can realistically afford to pay for a home.

3. Know your credit score.

Your credit score is among one of the most important factors when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage. Before coming and speaking with a Mutual of Omaha Mortgage specialist, check your credit score. Having an idea of where you stand can lessen the surprise when it comes to mortgage approval.

4. Gather all the necessary documents.

To apply for a mortgage with Mutual of Omaha Mortgage, you must provide income and tax documents. Two is the rule of thumb. Bring your last two pay stubs, W2s from the past two years, and the last two months of bank statements.

5. Figure out your down payment.

You’ve been saving up for your home for years. Figure out how much of your savings you’ll be putting towards your down payment. It will come into play when figuring out how much to borrow for your mortgage.

6. Learn how much mortgage you qualify for.

Once you know your credit score, apply for a mortgage. It might even be beneficial to apply for your mortgage before you begin actively searching for your first home. Knowing how much you are approved for can give insight on what type of home you should be searching for.

7. Understand your monthly expenses.

Figure out how your mortgage payment will fit in with your current monthly expenses. Just because you’re approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to borrow the entire amount, especially if you feel it might put you in a tight spot.

8. Consider all lending options.

Your Mutual of Omaha Mortgage specialist will go over all lending options with you. Don’t narrow anything out until you understand all the terms and conditions of each loan. Remember, the first option might not always be the best.

9. Think long-term.

Decide if the home you’re purchasing is long-term or a five-year plan. If you’re in it for the long-haul, you might be willing to spend a little more than if you are planning on moving again in the next few years.

10. Be sure to read over all contracts before signing.

Never sign any contracts without reading through every page of the document. Purchasing a home is one of the most important financial transactions you’ll make in your life. You need to understand all the terms and conditions. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. Your Mutual of Omaha Mortgage specialist will be with you every step of the way.

At Mutual of Omaha Mortgage, we specialize in helping you, the first-time buyer, through the purchasing process by minimizing the hassles of finding, financing, and closing on your new home. More than 40 years of lending experience has taught us the most important considerations for first-time buyers.

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