Tips for First Time Home Buyers in New Mexico
If you are planning on purchasing your first house, you may be wondering where to start and how to proceed. A great way to begin is to learn a few basics about the world of buying a new residential property.
Here are a few helpful tips about down payments, credit scores, lending institutions, interest rates, real estate agents, financial assistance and home builders in New Mexico. By going through the home buying process step by step, you can create a strategy that can allow you to gain the most out of your home buying experience.
Try to Put More Money Down
The down payment size you can bring to the table will set the tone for the rest of your purchasing experience. When buyers can put down 20% or more of the total price, they can qualify for a lower interest rate on the mortgage, a lower monthly payment and several other advantages – all of which can help save significant amounts of money over the length of the mortgage. A larger down payment can also save money by making the buyer exempt from having to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Strengthen Your Credit
At the beginning of the mortgage process, lenders will look into your credit history, credit rating and several other aspects of your financial profile. Put together, all of this information creates your credit score. With a high credit score, you can qualify for a bigger loan and a lower interest rate. A great way to raise your credit score is to pay off any outstanding credit card balances and balances on other loans. It is important to begin paying down debt several months before you apply for a loan.
Find the Right Lender
Contact several lenders before settling on the right mortgage for you. When you meet with the bank’s loan officer, you will get a sense of what your future with that institution might be like based on the first meeting. An experienced professional will take time with you and answer your questions without being too pushy. Also, if you have a good relationship with the bank you use for your checking and savings accounts, you may also consider their mortgage services.
Keep an Eye on Interest Rates
Interest rates, aka mortgage rates, rise and fall depending on what is happening with the rest of the economy. In a robust marketplace, interest rates tend to increase, whereas, during an economic downturn, they are more likely to drop in order to spur commerce. When rates are low, you can “lock in” a certain interest rate with something called rate protection, which keeps the rate from changing between the time you apply for a mortgage and when you close on the loan.
Find the Right Agent
An excellent real estate professional will help you navigate the fine details of the buying process based on your wants, needs and best interests. A great way to find the right person is to speak with people whose opinions you trust. If a family member or friend recently had a great home buying experience, ask them for a referral. It is crucial to reach out to several individuals so that you have options when picking the best fit.
One of the best tips for first-time home buyers is to find out what sort of financial backing you may be qualified for.
The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority can help determine your eligibility for assistance. You could qualify for a VA home loan with generous terms and benefits if you are an active-duty service member or a veteran. Or, you could qualify for an FHA loan. Conventional loans are the most common, allowing buyers to purchase a home with as little as 3% down.
Ask your mortgage lender for more information on these programs. Also, it is essential to note that a “first time home buyer” is defined as anyone who has not occupied and owned their primary residence within the last three years.
Work With Trusted Professionals
If you are interested in working with the best home builders in New Mexico, consider French Brothers, we are a highly experienced, well-respected builder known for making the needs and ideas of the buyer their top priority. We have four communities in the Las Cruces area, including University Meadows, which is conveniently located in the southern-central part of the city. Plus, if being involved in the design of your first house is vital to you, we have an in-house design studio that is a great place to start imagining your future home.
Purchasing a house is a huge life investment. You want to be as prepared as possible going into the process so that you can make the best decision for your future. By learning about down payments, credit scores, lending institutions, interest rates, real estate agents and financial assistance, you are one step closer to owning your dream home. Please contact us if you have any questions or want more information on available new homes in New Mexico. We would be happy to help you through every step of the process.