A Quick List Of Things To Do For First Time Home Buyers!

  • Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area. Do a quick search of actual MLS services listings in the Austin area on a few websites.
  • Find out what your total monthly housing cost would be, including taxes and homeowners insurance. In some areas, what you'll pay for your taxes and insurance escrow can almost double your mortgage payment. To get an idea of what you would pay in insurance, pick a property in the area where you want to live and then call your local insurance agent for a quote. You won't be obligated to get the insurance, but you'll have a great idea of what you would pay if you buy!
  • Find out how much you'll likely pay in closing costs. The upfront cost of settling on your home shouldn't be overlook. Closing costs include origination fees charged by their lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items like homeowners insurance or HOA fees (Home Owners Association). 
  • Look at your Budget and determine how a house fits into it. Fannie Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28 percent of their income on housing costs. If you go much past 30% you risk becoming "House Poor"
  • Talk to Reputable Realtor in the Austin area about the real estate climate. Do they believe prices will continue to fall or do they think it will rise. 
  • Remember to look at the big picture while buying a house is a great way to build wealth, maintain your investment can be labor-intensive and expensive.
  • Examine Your Credit. It pays to take a look at your creditworthiness early in the home-buying process.
  • Get your docs in a row! Collect pay stubs, bank account statements, W-2's tax returns for the last two years, statements from current loans and credit lines, and names and addresses of your landlords for the past two years. This may seem overwhelming but in the age of tight credit, documentation is key!
  • Find Lenders and get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage helps you bargain from a position of strength when you are house hunting.
  • If at first you don't succeed, try, try...the government? If you can't find a bank willing to lend to you - and in the current tight credit market, it's possible you - consider getting an FHA loan. The Federal Housing Administration has a program that insures the mortgages of many first-time homebuyers. As a result of this guarantee, lenders who might otherwise feel uneasy about your qualifications will be more inclined to lend to you. As a bonus, the FHA only requires 3.5 percent down payment for first time homebuyers!