Home buyers tips & tricks

Matt Stout shares all his tips & tricks from his 20+ years of experience.

1st Time Homebuyer Loans

If you don’t already own a home, you may be wondering about how you can break into the pride of homeownership. What are the options, and what are the steps to get there?

Contrary to popular belief, most buyers only need 3% down to buy a home.
Shakey credit? 3.5% down may be enough. Even buyers that miss the mark because of credit or income problems, still have options with as little as 10% down. Low-income, rural areas, and Veteran buyers may even have zero-down options! Keep in mind though that the more you put down, the lower your payments will be. That said, the more you can put down, the better. Depending on where you want to live, you will still need an additional 1 to 3% to cover closing costs. So unless you are eligible for a zero-down loan, as a general rule of thumb, plan on a 5% minimum out of pocket.

What exactly is a 1st-time buyer loan?
Technically speaking, a 1st-time buyer is any buyer that has not owned a home for 3 or more years. As a 1st-time buyer, you may be eligible for reduced monthly mortgage insurance and lower interest rates. They also have fewer restrictions for down payment grants and loans. While some programs have income limits, others have no restrictions on where you live or how much you make.

Tips When Buying a House

Be it your 1st time or even your 10th time, buying a house can be STRESSFUL! With so many things that can go wrong, what tips are essential?

Choose the best team
Most complaints are about service, not price! Make sure the team you are working with has good reviews and can get the job done. Inspection fees, earnest money, moving expenses can quickly add up to a whole lot more than that few hundred bucks you thought you were saving.

Don’t be afraid to make offers 1st and ask questions later
When you write your offer you will likely have the right to cancel based on your inspection. This means you get your deposit money back if you aren’t totally in love with the house! So if you wanted a house with termites and this one doesn’t have em, you can get your earnest money back! Don’t wait and think about it! You may be giving someone else the chance to snatch it up!

Be prepared
Your lender is your road map to success, and there may be routes you are unaware of to lead you to the best option. Meet with a lender several months, even as early as a year, before you plan to buy. They may have important recommendations about down payments, insights to improving your credit score, and other information that can make or break your ability to buy a home.

How To Make Your Offer Stand Out

When homes in short supply, here are some tricks that can really make your offer stand out.

The reality is that there are more people that want to buy homes than homes for sale. So how do you make your offer stand out?

Try to appeal to your seller’s humanity
Take time to write a handwritten letter that you send in with your offer that explains why you need this house. You may just find that they go with your offer because they want someone deserving to take over their home.
Now I know what you are saying, they just want money Matt!

Make your best offer 1st
As you most likely will not get a 2nd chance and there are most likely several competing offers. If you have more money down than the minimum required by your lender, you may even want to guarantee them a dollar amount over the appraised value.

So how do you do that? You must consult a Realtor that knows! They have the know-how that can help you win!

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