We’ve been talking a lot about the housing market this year. It’s as competitive as ever and if you’re looking to buy a home for the first time, it can be especially daunting.

“Homeownership is so important to families in our country for many of them this is their way of building and sustaining wealth, not only today but for future generations to come,” said Katrina Jones, Fannie Mae.

The home buying process can be confusing and overwhelming. Jones says you just have to know where to start and take it one step at a time.

The most important thing is education — home buying education, and putting yourself in the best position to leverage your own story, understanding the facts about the home buying process and understanding the steps from finding the home to getting the home, and closing on your home purchase.”

Also important, make sure you have the basic requirements to qualify for a mortgage and do that now.

“Don’t wait until you start looking for a home. Start early,” said Katrina Jones. “The mortgage process starts with knowing what you can afford, how much of a down payment do you need because that drives how much savings do I have to accumulate.”

“The pandemic has really hurt a lot of people’s credit so what is that meaning for people who are trying to buy a home? That’s a great question, purchasing a home is a big investment. Lenders want to make sure that you’re able to not only buy a home through a mortgage that they’ll make available to you. They also want to make sure that you can sustain a home and the way they do that is through your credit score.”

We’ve seen low interest rates this year and that’s not just good news for homebuyers, Katrina says current homeowners can take advantage of this too by refinancing their mortgages.

“You can reset to a shorter mortgage term or you could lower your interest rate or put yourself in a more stable mortgage payment. The whole point is to figure out what refinance options make the most sense for you and your family.”

The bottom line for everyone — educate yourself.

“The more you’re informed, the better position you’re going to be to understand your options and those options are going to help you find the dream, the American dream which is your new home that you’re trying to acquire,” says Jones.

If you’re thinking of refinancing, you may want to take a look at a mortgage calculator. That will be able to give you an estimate of the type of payments you’ll be making.
For a link to the online calculator, click here. For more information on home buying, click here.