You’ve learned plenty of consumer lessons haggling with automobile dealers to buy a car, reckoning with rental apartment leases and landlords, and dealing with college loan debt. But as instructive and enlightening (and at turns, frustrating) as these experiences can be, in all likelihood they will not fully prepare you for the highly involved and often stressful process of purchasing your first home.
The more you understand about the entire process, from the financial steps to take in preparing for the purchase, to shopping for and securing a mortgage, to the choices you make you officially become a homeowner, the more positive the experience is likely to be. Here the personal finance experts at the Financial Planning Association offer suggestions to help first-timers minimize their stress and maximize their investment.
Banks and other mortgage lenders don’t hand out home loans to just anyone. To secure a mortgage, a borrower needs to prove to the lender that they’re on solid financial footing and capable of meeting the terms of the loan. And the more solid that footing is, the more favorable their loan terms are likely to be. Thus the upfront effort you put into making yourself a more attractive borrower can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars, in costs. To strengthen your borrowing position:
To find the best mortgage deal:
To give yourself an edge in landing the home of your dreams:
To be a shrewd borrower
To prepare for life as a homeowner:
Once you’ve purchased a home:
May 2015 — This column is provided by the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) of NENY, the principle professional organization for Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®) professionals. FPA is the community that fosters the value of financial planning and advances the financial planning profession and its members demonstrate and support a professional commitment to education and a client-centered financial planning process. Please credit FPA of NENY if you use this column in whole or in part.
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