Love is in the air this February with Valentine’s Day right around the corner. Our greatest hope for you is a home you can afford to love for years to come. Spring is commonly known as home buying season, which makes February the perfect time to start preparing for your home love match! We have some tips to help you prepare so you can get those butterflies out of your belly and use your head to make the best choice for you.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Mortgage pre-approval is an important step in the home buying process because it will give you an idea of what you might be able to spend to buy a home. A pre-approval letter from a lender tells sellers that your offer is serious. You can get the 411 on mortgage pre-approval from our Mortgage Pre-Approval 101 Home Matters blog.
Find a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a vital partner in your journey to home ownership. It’s standard practice for the seller to cover the commission for both the seller’s agent and buyer’s agent, which means home buyers usually get all the benefits of using a real estate agent for free! You can learn more about the cost of using a real estate agent here and you can find an Agency-preferred real estate agent near you on our website.
Talk to a Housing Counselor
A housing counselor can be invaluable in helping first-time home buyers navigate the home buying process. They will review your financial health including your credit score and debt-to-income ratio, as well as your monthly income and expenses, to provide home buying recommendations to you. You can find a local HUD-approved housing counselor online.
Check for Home Buyer Assistance Programs
There are an array of first-time home buyer programs that can help make buying a home more affordable, including our NC Home Advantage suite of mortgage products! For example, The NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment offers $15,000 in down payment assistance for eligible first-time buyers and military veterans. To see all the ways we help make home ownership possible for North Carolinians, visit our website.
Now that you have the tools to start preparing for home buying season, it’s time to put on your love goggles and find the house you can make into a home of your own!