FIVE COMMON HOMEBUYER MISCONCEPTIONS
Buying a home is probably a lot more manageable than you think. Somewhere along the line, these crazy misconceptions have crept into the home buying conversation and made the dream of home ownership seem less attainable.
It’s time to set the record straight. Here are five common homebuyer misconceptions and the truth about each:
1. You need to save 20 percent for the down payment before you can buy a home.
There are several ways to buy a home without a 20 percent down payment!
FHA loans are the most popular option. They allow you to buy a home with as little as 3.5 percent down. There are also zero percent down options for special cases, like military personnel (active or veteran) or rural properties. Simply contact a lender to discuss your options. You may be closer to home ownership than you think!
Quick side note: you should also understand that your down payment won’t be your only home buying expense. You’ll need money to pay for closing costs (typically 2-5 percent of the purchase price). And you should have a little money set aside to make any urgent renovations or necessary upgrades.
2. Now isn’t a good time to buy because interest rates are rising.
The interest rate on your mortgage is a significant factor in your monthly payment and in the total amount you pay over the term of your loan. Interest rates are on the rise, which means the cost of having a mortgage is increasing. Many buyers mistakenly think they missed the boat on low interest rates.
But did you know interest rates are still historically low? When you look at interest rates by decade, you’ll see rates between 7-12 percent in the ’70s, over 18 percent in the ’80s, and 7-9 percent in the ’90s. Today’s rates are only around 5 percent!
Contrary to the misconception, now is the perfect time to buy, before rates get higher.
3. You need to wait for the perfect home.
There isn’t always going to the perfect home. When buyers look for the perfect home, they typically end up frustrated and disappointed.
Instead of worrying about everything you need to make it perfect, focus on your priorities. What aspects of a home are most important to you?
Location is always a good aspect to focus on first. You can change almost anything else about a home through renovations, remodeling, or even rebuilding, but you can’t change the location.
4. You don’t need to be pre-approved for a mortgage loan?
For most people, the first step in the home buying process is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval confirms that you’re financially ready to buy. A lender will look over your financial information and tell you how much money you’re qualified to borrow for a mortgage. That way you’ll know exactly what price range to stay in when you start your house hunt.
To get pre-approved, simply contact a local lender (you can even compare interest rates for multiple lenders online!).
5. You can save money by cutting out the real estate agent.
Did you know that buyers don’t pay their real estate agents? The sellers pay all real estate agent fees. So if you’re a buyer, there’s no reason not to hire a real estate agent to give you professional representation in this important investment transaction.
Real estate agents have the inside scoop on the market, they’re expert negotiators, and they can smoothly guide you through the process (and the paperwork).
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by hiring a real estate agent to represent you in buying your home.
Don’t let these common home buyer misconceptions delay your dream of home ownership! Qualifying for a loan and buying a home is within reach.