Becoming a homeowner for the first time is always exciting. Instead of paying someone else’s mortgage, you invest in your own future. After the excitement wears down, you may begin to feel a little overwhelmed. Stop. Take a breath. Then, follow these helpful tips for buying your first Tulsa home. They’re meant to help ease your stress during the entire process.
Helpful Tips for Buying Your First Tulsa Home
The very first thing you should do when buying your first (or fifth) Tulsa home is to get your finances in order. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to order your free credit report from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Review each report carefully, taking note of any errors. If you do find errors, visit the agency’s website to dispute it. Each company offers their own dispute process for you to follow. Make sure you provide a detailed explanation, complete with proof.
Once those errors are fixed, talk to a lender. First, they’ll run your credit to find your FICO score. If it’s not quite up to snuff, they should be able to tell you what areas you need to concentrate on: paying off old debt, paying down current debt, etc. Then, they’ll show you which loans you should consider: USDA, FHA, Conventional, etc. As a first-time Tulsa home buyer, you may qualify for as little as 3% to 3.5% down. If you’re a veteran, you won’t have to come up with any downpayment at all. Again, discuss your options with your lender.
Pre-Approval, Not Pre-Qualified
Next, obtain pre-approval on a mortgage loan. But don’t get this confused with pre-qualification. A pre-qualification only gives you a broad picture of what you might be approved for based on your income and debt load. This process only takes a few minutes. Pre-approval takes a little longer. The lender verifies income, savings and checking account info, credit history, work history, credit score, etc. Nowadays, most REALTORS@ want to see a pre-approval letter before they work with buyers. This makes your offer look stronger when you do eventually find your dream Tulsa home, too.
Location, Location, Location
After that, the search begins. Carpet, paint, fixtures, and appliances can easily be changed. In fact, in some instances, even walls can be moved. But the one thing that never changes is the location. When looking for your first Tulsa home, check out the neighborhood it’s located in. How far is it to the grocery store, movie theater, restaurants? Take a drive through the area during the week, on the weekends, day, and night. This offers you a much more comprehensive look at what to expect after you move in.
Check the Tech
Finally, many Tulsa homes come with smart technology: smart thermostats, a security system, etc. It’s easy to become distracted by the bells and whistles. Just make sure everything works. If it doesn’t, you can write it into your offer to have it fixed before you move in. Or, you might wish to request a credit so that you can fix it yourself after you move in. Your REALTOR@ can help you determine which course of action is best for your situation. Also, check the “low tech” stuff, too. Flip light switches. Turn on the faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms. Make sure all doors and windows open properly. Ask to have the sprinklers turned on, etc. Yes, much of this will be covered in your home inspection. But it doesn’t hurt for you to check these things out for yourself.
Congratulations on your decision to purchase your first Tulsa home. It may be the most expensive investment you make. So, utilize these helpful tips to keep stress levels down throughout the entire buying process. And, when you’re ready to start looking, contact us to take you around town. From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukka, and a Happy New Year!