Getting Started on the Path to Homeownership in California or Nevada
If buying a home in Nevada or California is among your short or long-term goals, learning how to prepare can help you make a more informed decision. Following are some tips and resources for what could be one of your most exciting purchases.
One way to get started on the path to homeownership is by using resources from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which offers these tips and action steps:
Check Your Credit
Lenders use your credit scores and information to determine whether you qualify for a loan and what interest rate to offer you. You can use this credit report review checklist from the CFPB as a guide for making sure you understand your credit report and that it is accurate.
Assess Your Spending & Develop a Realistic Budget
Before you start shopping, take a close look at your current spending. For many people, buying a new home means taking on new expenses, such as mortgage principal, interest, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and mortgage insurance. You also need to consider costs for repair and maintenance, moving, furniture or appliances, utilities and emergencies.
Access the spending tracker from the CFPB.
Once you have a more clear picture of your spending, you may need to adjust your budget based on your current expenses and any additional costs associated with home ownership.
You can use this free tool from Greater Nevada to build your budget.
Determine Your Down Payment
In general, the higher your down payment, the less your loan is likely to cost. Many loan types and lenders require 5 percent down or more. You can often save money if you put down at least 10 percent of the home price, and you’ll save more if you put down at least 20 percent. Ask your lender about possible options to help you with down payment requirements. For example, Greater Nevada Mortgage offers a down payment assistance program.
Decide How Much House You Can Afford
Once you know your estimated down payment, obtained your credit report and corrected any errors, and developed your budget, you can now set a purchase price target for a home you can comfortably afford. Interest rate is an important factor in a loan, and an online mortgage calculator is a great first step.
Access more mortgage calculators here.
When It’s Time to Start Home Shopping
Once you understand your budget, you might choose a real estate professional to help with your home search, negotiations, and other aspects of the home buying process. You also have the option of speaking with a mortgage consultant first to better understand the best type of loan you qualify for, and what price range to stay in.
Greater Nevada Mortgage (GNM) has a team of Mortgage Consultants who are licensed in both California and Nevada who are experts in helping prospective buyers make their dreams of homeownership a reality. That includes mortgage pre-approvals and no-cost, no-obligation consultations. Once you’ve found the right home and your offer has been accepted by the seller, an escrow account will be set up along with an agreed upon escrow period. You’ll then go through the closing process. GNM offers a digital closing service to reduce the signing time by half of a traditional signing.
Once you sign your documents and close your mortgage loan, you can enjoy the rewards of homeownership!