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Thinking of buying a home in Des Moines? Des Moines offers affordable homes, a sound job market, and a bustling big city with a small-town sense of community. Here are some tips to make your purchase a smooth and enjoyable process:
Check Your Credit Rating
If you’re planning on taking out a mortgage to purchase your home, your credit score is a very important determining factor for potential lenders. Go through your credit reports and challenge any discrepancies with the credit reporting agencies. Lenders are looking for responsible individuals with a clean credit history.
Save for a Down Payment
There are many loans available that only require small down payments, but they may not be the best decision, as they often require mortgage insurance and usually have higher interest rates. In order to obtain a loan without having to pay extra, you will need to have a down payment of 20%. In addition to your down payment, you will also have closing costs, a home inspection fee, and an appraisal fee that will need to be paid out of pocket.
Determine What You Can Afford
Before you start looking for your dream home you will need to realistically determine what you can afford. Create a budget with a list of your current monthly expenses. You want to cover all costs so that you don’t buy beyond your means. Take into account the other expenses that come with home ownership such as homeowners’ insurance, property taxes or an HOA. Determining an affordable purchase price will ensure that you don’t get in over your head.
Research Your Mortgage Options
There are so many mortgage options available, and you want to be sure to choose the right one for you. You may qualify for a conventional, FHA, or VA loan. If you plan to stay in the home for a lifetime, you may want a 30-year fixed loan. If you only plan to stay in the home for a few years, you may want to investigate an adjustable-rate loan. Ask your lender to explain the pros and cons of the loans available and apply for the loan that best fits your needs.
Find a Realtor
We live in a world where you can search for houses with the click of a button, and this is a good way to research neighborhoods and get an idea of what is available. However, finding a good buyer’s agent will open up many more opportunities to find a place that is right for you. They will be there to represent you and your best interest. Typically, in any real estate transaction, the agent's commission is paid by the seller, so why not have a knowledgeable advocate in your corner.
Buying your first home is a big decision, but if you’re prepared in advance, it can be a relatively stress-free experience.
If you’d like to discuss your mortgage options, or if you’d like a recommendation for an experienced, local Realtor, please reach out to us. We’re always happy to help.