William Pitt Sotheby's Int'l
Kristi Vaughan, William Pitt Sotheby's Int'l
Email: [email protected]
Hints and Tips for First Time Home Buyers

by Kristi Vaughan 04/21/2019

If you're renting a nice house, condo, or apartment, there's a good chance your monthly rent check is almost as much as a mortgage payment. Perhaps you've realized this and have been asking yourself why you're contributing to someone else's nest egg, instead of your own! If that sounds familiar, you may be ready to take the plunge into home ownership.

The other half of the equation is whether you're financially ready, and that would depend on a variety of things, including your credit rating, your debt-to-income ratio, and your ability to make a sufficient down payment on a new home. Although a 20% down payment is a desirable target to aim for, there's often a lot of flexibility on how much you're required to put down on a house.

One of the main reasons a 20% down payment is desirable is that it takes you "off the hook" for having to pay monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI). The second advantage of making a substantial down payment is that it reduces the principal amount of your loan, which, in turn, lowers your monthly payments even more. However, if you're ready to become a home owner, but can't afford a 20% down payment, you can often eliminate PMI payments earlier than scheduled by making extra principal payments. The bank or mortgage company you decide to work with can fully explain their policies and what your options are.

If you are interested in making the transition from renter to home owner, now's a good time to start talking to loan officers. If nothing else, you'll be educating yourself on the intricacies of buying a home. Working with an experienced real estate agent is another way to learn the ropes, so to speak, when it comes to the home buying process.

Other than the financial benefits of building equity in your own home, there are also a lot of practical advantages. If you're currently a renter, for example -- especially in an apartment building, duplex, or townhouse -- you're probably tired of the lack of privacy and the unwelcome noises you can often hear through walls, floors, and ceilings.

Becoming a home owner brings with it a pride of ownership and the ability to plant trees, bushes, and gardens on your own property. Depending on what's available in your price range, you can also enjoy your own private deck, screened in porch, or patio. Options for the kids (if you have them) include swing sets, sand boxes, and room to play backyard sports or run through a water sprinkler during the hot weather.

If you feel like you are ready to take the plunge into home ownership, the first step is to make lists of your requirements, your preferences ("wish list"), and financial resources. The next step is to find a good real estate agent to start showing you homes that fulfill your needs and check off as many items on your wish list as possible!

About the Author

Author
Kristi Vaughan
For all of the disruption in the real estate industry, one critical aspect will never change -- the need for a good, solid real estate agent with truly local knowledge who puts your interests first. Kristi is one of those agents. A real estate agent since early 2005, Kristi has built her business with the idea that if she serves her clients well, success will naturally follow. And it has. What this means for you is that Kristi is on top of it, whether it’s getting you into the newest homes to hit the market, knowing the staging and marketing trends to help show your home in the best light or keeping tabs on the myriad details of an individual transaction. If something needs doing to help you meet your real estate goals, Kristi is giving it her full personal attention. Aided, of course, by today’s technologies. “As the mother of millennials and a homeowner of a certain age myself, I have a sensitivity and respect for the needs of first-time homebuyers, down-sizing sellers and everyone in between,” says Kristi, adding, “I measure my success not by numbers and awards but by the satisfaction of my clients.” A top producer, Kristi has won numerous Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards and has been recognized for many years by Connecticut Magazine’s Five Star Program for excellent customer service. In addition to being a member of the National Association of Realtors, Connecticut Association of Realtors and Ridgefield Board of Realtors, Kristi is a Senior Real Estate Specialist, Accredited Buyer Representative and is e-Pro certified. She is fully trained and experienced in working with relocation clients from near and far. Give her a call.