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Tips, Tricks and Mistakes to Avoid for First-Time Homebuyers

Jul 7, 2020, 12:18 PM
Family standing in front of home with a sold sign

Congratulations - if you’re reading this you’ve most likely thought about embarking on the home ownership journey! Being a first-time home buyer is exciting! But we know it can also feel overwhelming – with many things to consider, such as: whether or not this is still a good time to buy a home, interest rates, the prequalification process, obtaining homeowner’s insurance, and more.

If this is your first rodeo, or it’s been a while since you last purchased a home, here are four common mistakes first-time homebuyers make, along with tips on how to avoid them:

Shopping for a home before getting pre-approved. So, you found a home you love, but can you afford it? Not only do you risk falling behind the ball if a home you love hits the market, but you may be looking at homes, realistically, you can’t afford. Not to mention, being pre-approved sends the message that you’re a serious buyer whose credit and finances pass to successfully get a loan. 

Not researching the neighborhood. After you've been pre-approved and have found some homes for sale in your price range, be careful not to make a decision based on the property alone. A home’s condition can be improved with a little bit of time and money; however, the quality of the neighborhood can’t.

Ask your real estate agent for information on crime rates and the quality of schools around your prospective neighborhoods. Calculate your new commute times to see if they seem manageable. Visit the neighborhood at different times and days to check for traffic conditions and noise levels - only choose a neighborhood that you and your family feel good about.

Talking to only one lender. The more you shop around, the better basis for comparison you’ll have to ensure you’re getting a good deal and the lowest rates possible. Compare mortgage rates, lender fees and loan terms. Don’t discount customer service and lender responsiveness; both play key roles in making the mortgage approval process run smoothly.

Assuming you need a 20% down payment. While a 20 percent down payment does help you avoid paying private mortgage insurance, many buyers today don’t want (or can’t) put down that much money. Consider other mortgage options carefully and look at lenders that have specific programs for first-time homebuyers.

If you’re ready to embark on the home buying journey, there may never be a better time than now. Rates are incredibly low – at some of their lowest in 50 years.1 Sellers are motivated. And you’ll pay NO ORIGINATION FEE – which could mean $3,078 in savings!2,3 Make your move. Visit USEagle.org/Opportunity or call 505.342.8957.

1As of May 2020 national findings by CNBC.com. 2No origination fee offer available for limited time– through 8/31/20. 3$3,078 savings based on typical 1% origination fee for $307,800 home purchase. Purchase price based on Albuquerque median listing price as per Homes.com. Individual savings may vary. 4All loans subject to credit approval. Must meet US Eagle membership qualifications including opening a $5 share account. See US Eagle for complete details.

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