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5 Tips for Homeownership in a Challenging Market

06/01/23

Homeownership is a significant step toward building wealth, but people across the country are struggling to purchase a home. Limited housing availability and increased home prices have made achieving the American Dream of homeownership more challenging. June is National Homeownership Month and we’re joining the nation in recognizing the importance housing plays in the lives of our community members. Below, we’re sharing resources and tips from the American Bankers Association and First National 1870 for homebuyers looking to achieve their dreams of buying a house. 

5 Tips for Homebuyers

Tip 1: Gain speed with bank lenders.

Preparing for the house-bidding process is an important first step in today’s competitive housing landscape. Get pre-approved for a loan so you can quickly and effectively bid on your dream home. First National 1870 is proud to offer home mortgage lending solutions through Guardian Mortgage, Sunflower Bank, N.A.'s national mortgage division that has helped over a million homebuyers realize their dreams of homeownership. To learn more about the types of loans available and get pre-approved, contact a mortgage loan originator and/or apply online. 

Tip 2: Fix financial flaws.

Clean up your credit and pay down your debt to get in a better position to purchase a home. When you address problems early, you are more likely to qualify for a better interest rate, which will impact the ultimate price of your home and your monthly payment for years to come. First National 1870 checking account holders have access to Credit Sensefree service offered to help them better understand their current credit scores. If, after checking your score, you discover a need to increase your credit score, check out these tips for improving credit. 

Tip 3: Build your savings.

Down payments for first-time homebuyers generally range between 6-7% on average, according to the National Association of Realtors. However, offering a larger down payment helps you build equity faster, reduces monthly payments and eliminates the need for private mortgage insurance. Check out our “5 Tips to Saving for Your First Home” article to learn more about building your savings. 

Tip 4: Understand your local market.

Once you know what you are looking for, the fourth tip is to research what similar homes have sold for in the past six months. This will give you a good baseline for your expectations and upcoming negotiations. Your realtor and mortgage lender are great resources for this information. You can also look at online real-estate marketplaces to find typical housing costs in your area.

Tip 5: Set a realistic budget and stick to it.

Consider what you absolutely need in a future home and where you can make concessions. This will help you stick to a budget you can afford. To determine how much home you can afford and what your mortgage payment will look like for your budget, reference First National 1870’s handy mortgage and home affordability calculators. 

While today’s housing market can make things challenging, the American Dream is still achievable when you follow the tips above and have a knowledgeable dedicated team at your back, helping you throughout the process.  

If you’re thinking about buying a home, or in the process of purchasing a home, contact First National 1870 and our Guardian Mortgage team of talented mortgage loan originators. We are here to help you find a mortgage loan option that is best for your needs while providing education and support every step of the way. 

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