Home Buying Myths That You Should Ignore
Congratulations on the beginning of your exciting journey to becoming a homeowner. This is a time of mixed feelings - excitement, anxiety, impatience, and also conflicting advice. When it comes down to it, you just want to find a house and move in as quickly as you can to start your new life but sometimes the advice we get from the people around us can slow the process down. Let’s bust some of the home buying myths that stop people from trying to buy.
Find the Right House First
Has anyone told you yet that you should find the house you want before you start talking to lenders about mortgages? This happens a lot. The truth of the matter is that by starting the mortgage application as early as you can you will be able to identify and overcome any roadblocks that you would otherwise be unaware of.
By all means start looking right away, but talk to your lender too. That way you will have a more realistic idea of what you can actually afford and what timeline you are working with. Imagine it the other way around, you find the right house - one you really love - only to find out that you are missing a piece of the puzzle that is essential to getting the loan you need in time. Avoid this kind of disappointment by starting the conversation early.
Your Down Payment Must be 20%
Talk to more than one lender and you will find that there are more options than just the mortgages requiring a 20% deposit. Of course, by starting to save as soon and as much as you can, you will be in a better position to negotiate. That said, it is not essential to have a large lump sum.
There are options for mortgages that require only a 3% or 10% deposit, which is much more affordable. There are different options for different states too, so talk to realtors and the local housing development authority for more details about the options available.
The Only Up-Front Cost is the Down Payment
This is really important to know in advance. When you purchase a house there are a number of up-front costs that will eat into your savings.
The good news is that these upfront costs are for services that work in your favor. For example, there will be an inspection fee. This service ensures that you know about any structural issues with the house you are buying such as bad plumbing, the aircon system, and the electrics. An inspection fee gives you an honest overview of the property and its condition. Other upfront costs that you can expect include appraisal fees, closing fees, and your solicitor fees.
Debt Prevents You from Getting a Mortgage
There was a time when this was true so the myth is born from truth. Thankfully times have changed and having debt or having had debt will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a homeowner.
What is true is that your credit score can impact what kind of loan you can get. The better your credit score, the less of a deposit required by some lenders for example. However, this is not set in gold and there are a number of more flexible options available to you such as VA loans and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.
A 30-year Fixed Mortgage is the Best Option
There is not a ‘one fits all’ option for mortgages. What is best for you may not be best for the homeowner three doors down or across the road from you.
A 30-year fixed mortgage is good for you if you are planning to stay in your home for a long time - buying your forever-home. That way you can rely on an interest rate that will not fluctuate.
However, if your plan is to get on the property ladder and move in maybe 5 - 10 years, you might be best suited to look at a different mortgage type. With a shorter loan period, your monthly repayments will be higher than a 30-year mortgage but the interest that you pay over that shorter period will be less.
With so much conflicting advice out there the best thing you can do is start talking to the right people (lenders and housing authorities) as early as possible. For information that comes from friends and family, know that they mean well but always check the information they offer with a mortgage expert.
Kristin Herman is a property and finance enthusiast and a writer at UK Writings and Academized. She writes home finance articles for online magazine and blogs, such as Essay Roo.