46 THE QUEENS COURIER • AT HOME • JULY 11, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Real estate ready: Smart tips for fi rst-time homebuyers
Today’s fi rst-time homebuyers face a
variety of hurdles when trying to enter the
real estate market. While interest rates have
declined recently and there are signs that
more inventory may be coming onto the
market, many buyers continue to feel frustration
in fi nding and fi nancing a home.
Additionally, high levels of student loan
debt and entry-level jobs that didn’t pay as
much as expected have made homeownership
fi nancially diffi cult for millennials.
Many have opted to move in with their
parents, and since then have been saving
money to purchase a home.
Although being a fi rst-time homebuyer
is exciting, it can also be overwhelming.
Whether you’re purchasing a home
for yourself, with your spouse, or because
you’re growing your family, there are a few
tips to keep in mind to ensure a smooth
process and happy outcome so you don’t
have to delay your decision to buy a home.
Explore what you can aff ord
It’s important to purchase a home that
is within your means, but it’s oft en diffi
cult to know what you can actually
aff ord. Start by using the Shop by Payment
feature at Vylla (www.vylla.com.) If you
know what you can aff ord for rent, use
that as a guide for your search to see how
it translates into monthly mortgage payments.
Many renters are surprised to fi nd
out they can become homeowners for
about the same monthly amount they’re
currently paying their landlord.
Save for closing costs
Th ere are some “hidden costs” associated
with buying a home. Closing costs,
or fees included at the closing of a real
estate transaction, can include a number
of charges such as appraisal and attorney
fees, recording fees, title and escrow
charges. Buyers and sellers oft en split closing
costs, and buyers can typically expect
to pay 3 to 4 percent of the cost of the
home in closing costs. Th at means if you
buy a $200,000 home, estimated closing
costs will be between $6,000 and $8,000.
Working with a transparent real estate
and mortgage company will also help you
manage costs to ensure there are no surprises
along the way.
Manage debt and
You may have heard that you need to
eliminate debt and save 20 percent down
to purchase a home. Although those are
good goals, there are more fl exible loan
products available today for many types of
borrowers. Many lenders have loan programs
that make it possible for borrowers
with some debt or less-than-perfect credit
to qualify for mortgage loans, eliminating
some of the barriers fi rst-time homebuyers
face. You may be able to qualify
for a loan with a down payment of just
Housing varies greatly from city to city,
and even block to block. It’s important to
research the areas you want to live in to
ensure you’re happy and making a good
investment. Th is will be unique to each
homebuyer, but it may be important for
you to consider school boundaries, population
demographics, crime rates, access
to resources like public transportation
and commute times to work.
Streamline to reduce stress
Many homebuying steps are disconnected,
which can cause a lot of
stress. Consider a one-stop platform
like Vylla.com that seamlessly integrates
the mortgage process with home search
and home purchasing steps to provide
everything under one roof. Plus, you can
work with a single point of contact who
works with real estate agents, title and
escrow services and more for a seamless
Although your fi rst home won’t likely
be your last, it’s important to think longterm
when making such a big investment.
According to the National Association of
RealtorsÂ®, the average amount of time a
homeowner stays in a house is 10 years.
You want something that you plan to
live in for at least the next few years, as
well as something that suits your future
plans. Don’t just think about what you
want now; try to visualize your life down
the road and make sure this house fi ts the
vision as much as possible.
A few smart steps can make the fi rsttime
homebuying experience easy and
stress free. With a little proactive planning
and a few good resources, you’ll have keys
to your home in hand in no time.