With low interest rates and a large amount of affordable inventory, it’s a great time to be a first time homebuyer in Seattle. However, there are some things you should keep in mind that can make the whole process as stress-free as possible, and to ensure you find the right home for your needs.
When you begin shopping around for a lender, these companies will be fully aware that this is your first home purchase. As a result, they may attempt to take advantage of your lack of experience by leading you to believe that you only have one APR option, and that it’s only valid for today.
Unfortunately, it’s often the case that the lender is trying to force you into making a rash decision, just so they can close the sale. In reality, there are generally multiple rates and mortgage options almost any day of the week, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask your lender to present all of them. While this translates into extra work for them, their job is to get you the best deal possible for you and your family. Don’t accept anything less.
The best place to start looking for a mortgage lender is generally through a bank you already do business with (e.g. checking, savings, and/or business accounts). Because you’re an existing customer, they’ll have an elevated interest in keeping you happy.
In addition, it’s likely that they’ll already have access to your credit score and financials, which can make the application process simpler. On top of this, they may offer “lender’s credit” programs for existing customers, which could help you save a significant amount of money on closing costs.
You’ve worked hard to achieve and maintain your good credit score, and you don’t want that to suddenly change during the home buying process. However, keep in mind that applying for a mortgage counts as a “hard” inquiry on your credit report, and can subsequently reduce it by a small amount each time.
Fortunately, the three major credit bureaus understand this, and will often waive up to three of these “hard” inquiries over a 30 or 60-day time period. This means that you’ll need to be relatively selective about the number of mortgage lenders you allow to run your credit, or your score could be negatively impacted. With this in mind, be sure to check with your loan officer beforehand, and they’ll help steer you in the right direction.
Be upfront with your Realtor, and make sure they have a solid understanding of what you do (and don’t) want in your new home, while making sure you’re opinion is fully known. Also, unless you know your Realtor outside of the work relationship, you may want to keep your “poker face” on when viewing a new listing. In other words, don’t show too much excitement, even if you just realized that you found the perfect home. Otherwise, you might find that they try to push you into making a decision, even though you’re not ready.
At Movable, we’ve been helping first time home buyers in Seattle move into their new homes possible for years. We know that it can be an overwhelming experience, so we’re here to make sure everything goes as smoothly and as stress free as possible.
Ready to move into your first home? Count on the professionals at Movable by giving us a call today at (206) 466-7710, or by filling out a quick contact form.