So you’re ready to make the move from renter to home owner. You have thought about the pros and cons and have decided that buying is the right thing to do. While turning to friends and family for advice is appealing, just aware of common home buyer myths. Here are 6 home buying myths debunked so you can do this thing the right way.
6 Home Buying Myths Debunked
Myth #1: The first step is looking for a home
The biggest risk of looking for homes before talking to a lender is setting your heart on a property, running the risk of having your dreams shattered if you don’t qualify to buy that home. Browsing is always fun, but when it comes to serious home buying work, the very first step is to talk to a lender to get pre-approved. This way you know exactly how much you can afford before you start looking at homes.
Myth #2: Your down payment must be 20%
Sure a 20% down payment is ideal if you want to avoid the private mortgage insurance. But not all buyers, especially first time home buyers are able to gather up 20% of their property in cash. Because of this many loan types such as FHA allow as low as 3.5% down, as long as you’re able to pay the monthly PMI.
Myth #3: The only upfront cost is the down payment
If only this home buying myth was true! In addition to your down payment, you’re likely responsible for closing costs, taxes, inspections, insurance, and any fees associated with the community you’re moving to. Not to mention all the fees that come with buying a new house: new appliances, new light fixtures, new hardware, etc.
Myth 4: You can’t buy with bad credit
This is one of the biggest home buying myths. While having lower than a 600 credit score might halt your conventional loan, FHA loans allow those with credit scores as low as 580 to qualify for a loan. When you talk with your lender they will help you raise your credit in the shortest amount of time. They can put your in credit repair courses that ensure progress in a short amount of time.
Myth #5: You don’t need a home inspection
You might be tempted to believe that you don’t need a home inspection, especially if you’ve bought a new construction home in a hot housing market. But beware, if you skip the inspection, you’re responsible for anything that is currently wrong with the home, including the things you don’t know about. The average inspection is under $500, so paying for an inspection up front can help you save thousands down the road and give you peace of mind.
Myth 6: The schools don’t matter if you don’t have kids
While you don’t actually have children attending the nearby school, good schools are a sign of a good neighborhood. This could impact the safety ratings if the neighborhood and overall crime rate. So even through you’re not involved in the school itself, you can take advantage of the benefits that come with living in a neighborhood near a good school.