The Top 5 Must-Know Tips for Homebuyers

Buying a new home is a major decision, but it doesn't have to be intimidating. Follow these five tips to gain key knowledge and confidence so you feel at home while buying one.
Related To:
RX_Chase-couple-and-realtor_h

RX_Chase-couple-and-realtor_h

©Photo Credit: Tim Hale

Photo Credit: Tim Hale

Courtesy of Chase

Top Homebuying Tip #1: Take Advice From the Pros
Your real estate agent is your partner and a valuable asset. He or she knows the neighborhoods and schools, and will help negotiate a fair price for the house you want. Your mortgage banker can answer questions about how much you can comfortably afford and provide guidance at every step. Get recommendations from those you trust, such as your family and friends.

Top Homebuying Tip #2: Understand ALL Your Costs
In addition to your monthly mortgage principal and interest payment, you'll also pay taxes and insurance (e.g., hazard, flood) and several one-time closing fees. These closing costs typically range from two to six percent of the total amount of the mortgage loan. You may also need to pay private mortgage insurance if your down payment is less than 20 percent on a conventional loan. Make sure you know the total cost of your new home so you can plan accordingly.

Top Homebuying Tip #3: Know Your Credit Score
A good credit score increases your chances of being approved for a mortgage and may lower your interest rate
(less than 580 is very poor and above 720 is excellent). If your score is low, try to improve it by making your payments on time, paying the monthly minimum (or more) and keeping your existing credit card accounts with zero balances open.

Top Homebuying Tip #4: Find Your Price Range
Your monthly mortgage payment should be no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income. You can get an estimate of how much you'll be able to borrow by being prequalified for a mortgage. You will need to provide some basic financial information and a lender determines how much you may borrow. Prequalification is simple and usually can be done in one conversation. You may choose to prequalify online or speak with your local Chase mortgage banker. You can also check Chase mortgage rates today.

Top Homebuying Tip #5: Organize the Necessary Paperwork
In order to buy a new home, you'll need to provide various documents such as pay stubs, bank statements and tax forms. Make sure you know what papers you need and have them readily accessible. A mortgage banker can help you determine what documents are needed.

To learn more about the homebuying process, visit My New HomeSM.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Dorm Room Decorating: Must-Know Tips From College Students

You may think a bland dorm room holds no decorating potential, but just wait. We have savvy design and storage tips to turn your new college digs into home sweet home.

Guys, We've Got 5 Essential Party Tips You Need to Know About

With football season in full swing, it's time for all you dudes to up your game on the hosting front. We've got 5 must-know entertaining tips that will impress all your friends.

Top Tips for Haggling and Bargain Hunting

Bargain-hunting pros share their expertise on the customary way to do business at a yard sale.

Cook Meals for a Month

Find out how you can cook for a day and then eat for a month.

Can't-Miss Color Tips from David Bromstad

Take it from David Bromstad, host of Color Splash and the season one winner of Design Star, these color tips will help you successfully design any room you're working on.

9 Tips for Easy Ironing

Speed household ironing chores by knowing what to press and how to press it.

How to Keep Meat Moist and Juicy

No matter how you cook it, here’s how to maximize meat’s flavor.

10 Dos and Don'ts for Home Sellers

The experts from Bought & Sold explain what to do (and what not to do) when selling a home.

Mapping the Possibilities: Finding a Buyer From Across the Globe

Selling your home? You may not need to look as long, if you’re willing to look far.

Lighting Basics for the Home

Find out how ambient, task and accent features work to light up your home.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows. Live stream HGTV now.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.