Buying the first house is a significant step in anyone’s life. Thus, be sure every step that guides you to that goal is well-thought through. The whole process can be overwhelming, so you should make a saving plan and do extensive research on the road ahead of you. If you’re starting with preparations and considering Buckeye State for your new living destination, follow the tips for first-time homebuyers in Ohio, and avoid any unpleasant surprises you might encounter.
What do you need to know about Ohio’s real estate market?
Before embarking on a homebuyer’s journey, get familiar with the local housing options and average cost. In the past two years, average home prices rose by 20% all over the US, where millennials acquired over 60% of total offers. Some of them might have had a buyer’s remorse rushing into the whole process with not enough research. Others, like new, young homeowners in Ohio, were lucky to find a home in stable and up-and-coming cities.
Even though the Ohio property market has been very competitive, it’s possible to find an ideal home for a medium cost of $228,636. According to relocation experts from Zippy Shell Columbus, many of their clients regretted not reacting fast and making an offer as soon as they’ve found the property they liked.
In high-demand living locations, if you’re not ready for a bidding war, you might end up losing the home of your dreams to a faster bidder. That’s why having a local partner to help you navigate the market will mean a lot.
Get pre-approved for a loan early
The government created various stimulus programs for soon-to-be house owners to encourage future real estate endeavors. In addition, the mortgage lenders offered lower rates. Still, the bidding wars significantly raised property prices, making it impossible to afford a home without a mortgage.
The mortgage lenders will be able to answer your many questions, like what the maximum sum you can invest in a home is, how much your monthly payments will be, and how big the down payment will be. Moreover, they will help you decide which type of loan is the best for you.
The approval process can take a while, and you need to have stellar records to get the house of your dreams. But there is another alternative for many first-time buyers – applying for an FHA loan. It’s easier to apply for it, it has lower up-front costs, and the credit requirements aren’t as strict. At the same time, the FHA loan has a much lower down payment, approximately 3.5%.
Professional help will save you time and money
Navigating unfamiliar fields is difficult, especially when you’re about to take a significant step forward in your life. It’s not only about searching for a new home – it’s the entire package. It starts with knowing how much you can afford and where to look for the house of your dream. With a local expert to provide you guidance through the whole buying process, you’ll take a heavy load off your back.
Many people regret not hiring a real estate agent because they wanted to save money. However, researching, ads looking, and going through different unfamiliar procedures is not only stressful, but it’s also time-consuming. With the right help, you’ll get a listing based on your preferences, and you’ll get familiar with all the steps of your home-buyers journey.
Save money for additional expenses.
When saving up to buy a house, you mustn’t oversee all other financial expenditures that come after signing the contract. Buying a home is just the beginning of the journey. That achievement is followed by moving, settling, and sustaining costs. Thus, to make your adjustment period bearable, have at least four to six months of living expenses saved up. On top of the closing costs, relocation, mortgage payments, you need to include utilities, insurances, and all other costs that come after buying a property.
However, try not to overburden yourself with financial worries yet. Avoid future stress by designing a good saving plan that will include every possible cost and some extra. Start saving on time, and mark every milestone until your reach your goal. After the relocation and settling all the bills, you can enjoy the good sides of homeownership – making the new house feel like home. There is no more satisfying feeling than to design and create an environment you’ll love after buying your first home.
Explore first homebuyers programs in Ohio
To motivate and support local development, the state of Ohio created incentives and programs for first-time homebuyers. The goal is to provide property-owning opportunities to people with low and moderate incomes. There are specific requirements for the available programs you need to meet to enjoy these benefits. Some of them worth considering are:
- FHA loan – if your credit score is under 600,
- Conventional 97 – for credit scores over 620,
- USDA loan – if you have a low income and you’d be willing to buy a home in designated, more rural areas. USDA loan has zero down payment and the lowest mortgage insurance rates. However, to apply, your credit score needs to be over 640.
- VA loan – if you’re a veteran, in the military, National Guard, or a reservist.
If you’re struggling with low income or don’t have perfect credit scores, either of these programs is worth considering for your house purchase endeavor.
Do not skip hiring a home inspection
Often, homebuyers would underestimate the importance of home inspection, thinking the appraisal did the job of estimating the property value. However, “there is more than meets the eye,” and in this case, literally. Therefore, one of the most valuable tips for first-time homebuyers in Ohio is to hire a house inspector. Only after a thorough professional examination will you know if the house is a worthy investment.
Many homes on the market require improvements, and that is normal. Still, you want to avoid structural issues that need a significant budget for repairs. With a home inspection contingency, you can withdraw the offer and protect yourself from losing a deposit if substantial repairs are necessary.
One of the main tips for first-time homebuyers in Ohio is not to take the whole procedure lightly. House purchase is a serious endeavor, and it requires extensive research, consideration of different factors, and often professional help. Still, the road to the buyer stage is long. Before that, you need to save enough money to finalize the purchase and support yourself through the period that comes after.