1. Passing up Help with Local Assistant Programs
There are 200+ federal, state and local programs to assist consumers in making their down payments and paying mortgage-closing costs. Some programs are only for first-time homebuyers, others could be for veterans.
Agent Tip: Make sure to research programs in your region. It’s hard to research and navigate programs alone. They vary from city to city, and might only be available during certain times.
2. Believing You Will Never Qualify
Some buyers believe that assistance programs are designed for low-income households. Some programs assist first-time homebuyers no matter their income levels - depending on where they purchase a home.
Agent Tip: Look at program options. For example, there might be program that helps pay closing costs on homes purchased in designated low-income areas, no matter the consumer’s income. Hagerstown has some great assistance programs that first-time homebuyers should consider.
3. Thinking that you can’t afford The Down Payment
Some homes require a very down payment. If you think you don’t have enough money saved there’s a chance that you could be pleasantly surprised.
Agent Tip: Work with your mortgage loan originator to see which programs can help you qualify. Coldwell Banker Innovations can help you during this process. People tell us they can’t afford a house because of the down payment, It’s the most common barrier to buying a home. But we find that a buyer needs less money than he or she thinks to get into a home with a monthly payment that meets their budget.
4. Clinging to Outdated Ideas on Having a Pre-determined Timeline
Closing times are lengthening. And that can be a good thing. The Know Before You Owe rule enacted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau went into effect, and has extended the timeline on most home closings. The rule created documents that detail how much a buyer will pay for closing costs, how much each monthly payment will be, and how payments or rates could potentially adjust. Any change to these terms must be given to borrowers with 3 days to review, which is different from the past when changes could be made to the loan before and during closing without a wait.
Agent Tip: Be patient, and know that all of the changes are made to help you better understand the mortgage terms and help you find the best loan for you.
5. Relying On a Loan that is Not Conducive to Your Needs
Many homebuyers likely had a 30-year-loan on their last house. But it’s not the default loan anymore. For each purchase, loan originators look at the buyer’s financial situation and goals, and might suggest a loan with a shorter term.
Agent Tip: Work through the financials on several options with your loan originator to see what puts you in the best financial position to meet your family’s goals. It might be better to get a lower term loan now to build equity, and then move into something bigger in a few years. We want what is right for you.