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First Time Home Buying Guide

Buying a home is exciting. It’s also a big decision. For most people, a house is the most valuable asset they’ll ever own. If you’re about to go house hunting for the first time, here’s a guide to help you through the process.

Step 1: Find Out What You Can Afford

Blog First Time Home Buying Guide

You’ll first want to look at your financial position to make sure you can afford a home and determine just how much you can spend on your house. When calculating what you can afford, take into account any savings that you have and your current income. Together, these should cover your:

  • down payment
  • mortgage payments
  • taxes
  • homeowners insurance
  • maintenance costs

Mortgage calculators can help you determine both how much you’ll be able to borrow and what your monthly payments will be. A real estate agent can help you find out what the taxes, insurance and maintenance costs would likely be on a house in the area where you’re looking to buy. If you’d like more information about mortgage payments, feel free to contact us at Oklahoma Central Credit Union.

Step 2: Determine What You Want

Before you actually go house shopping, think about what you’re looking for in a home. Would you rather be in a posh neighborhood, or would you prefer a bigger house in a less-nice area? Is a garage essential, and how about a fenced-in yard?Thinking through questions like these will help you prioritize the features of the homes you look at.

Step 3: Go House Shopping

Once you have a budget and list of priorities, you’re ready to go looking at houses. A real estate agent can help you identify the most likely matches for you, and they can schedule showings for you. They’ll walk you through each home you’re interested in.

Step 4: Make an Offer and Then Close

Once you see a house you like, make an offer on it. If the seller accepts your offer, then you’ll enter into a period of negotiation during which no one else can put an offer in on the home. The typical process at this point goes as follows:

  1. You’ll get approved for a mortgage at some point during the process.
  2. You place an offer, and the seller accepts it.
  3. You have a home inspection completed.
  4. You and the seller may negotiate, usually using the inspection as a basis for talks.
  5. You and the seller will close on the house.

At closing, you’ll become the official owner of the home. Once you reach this stage, congratulations! You’ll have bought your first home.

At Oklahoma Central Credit Union, we provide our members with the tools they need to successfully navigate the home buying process. Our First-Time Home Buyer Program is designed to help potential homeowners understand mortgages and the steps to take when buying a home. Members who participate in the program are eligible for a discount on their closing costs. To learn more, visit our site today.

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