Today, my fiancé and I are meeting with a realtor that has been recommended to us for the first time. We only have a small idea of what we are getting into, but I am researching and I will be posting about our experience as first time home buyers. We know where we want to live, but not sure what we can afford in the area. We also do not know what our best option for getting the right mortgage, my fiancé works for the public schools so she might be able to get a better rate with the NC State Employees Credit Union.
Some of our main objectives for the meeting are:
What is our best option if we are only looking to stay for 3-5 years? We know prices are falling and who knows what the next few years are going to be like for real-estate, what should we do to protect ourselves so we are not in a situation where we cannot upgrade in 5 years.
Are there homes in the area we like that we can really afford? I like Dave Ramsey's rule of being able to afford a house:
Can I make at least a 10% (preferably 20%) down payment?
Can I afford a 15-year fixed rate loan?
Can I keep the house payments at or below 25% of my monthly take-home pay?
I've heard a good idea which I need to research more on, but to get a 30-year loan and pay it off in 15. The rate might be a little bit higher but it does take some of the pressure off if something where to happen? We will see about this one...
Should we shore up some credit? I have around 17k in debt that I can pay down if I needed to. The wedding ring is on a 0%APR for this year so I could pay it down if I needed to. It really depends on how much that is going to effect our mortgage? We both have excellent credit so I don't think it will be a problem. When I first moved to North Carolina I spoke with a mortgage lender and he told me I had Grade A rating, so hopefully I can keep moving along paying every month .
What is our best option with receiving the Tax Credit for First-Time home buyers? We just want to make sure we do everything right so we can take full advantage of the credit. We are both first time home buyers, so how can we maximize this.
This is just a preliminary meeting and we will be moving forward from here, am I missing any initial questions I should be asking? Please leave a comment and everyone have a great weekend!