Kevin Seawright on What First Time Homebuyers Should Consider When Purchasing a New Property
Are you researching what it takes to buy your first home? When you find the perfect house, you’ll need to secure the best lender and know how to navigate the mortgage application. What’s more, you must be sure that your new home fits your budget and lifestyle.
The more prepared you are, the better you’ll be at negotiating mortgage rates.
In this short guide, real estate asset manager and investor, Kevin Seawright, shares a few tips on preparing and negotiating mortgage rates and terms like a pro.
How Lenders Determine Eligibility
Kevin Seawright says it’s essential to understand how lenders view your score to generate competition and get your loan’s best interest rate. There are different types of lenders with differing loan formulas and requirements for eligibility.
For example, mortgage lenders have stricter requirements and scoring methods than credit card companies and auto lenders. That’s because the average mortgage in the United States reached an all-time high in 2019 at over $350,000. A large loan over a long period is an investment for all stakeholders.
Some of the things that mortgage lenders take into consideration include:
- Combined income to debt ratio
- Total current debt
- Past payment patterns
- Length and type of employment
Kevin Seawright says to talk to prospective lenders and ask for suggestions on improving your score to qualify for better rates. Remember that earning a lower rate translates into thousands of dollars of savings over the 30 years you pay on a mortgage.
Find the Right Real Estate Agent
It’s wise to interview several agents before signing a contract or committing to work exclusively with one brokerage firm. Make sure to ask for references from their clients. Online reviews are helpful too.
You’ll want to read several reviews. Also, keep in mind that people tend to post bad reviews more frequently than reporting good experiences. Kevin Seawright says sometimes organizations go through things that cause the company’s customer service to decline temporarily.
When you’re looking through reviews, consider the context and note the dates.
Additionally, it’s good to know how many buyers the brokerage represents each year. You can gauge your agent’s motivation by the number of sales they close annually. NAR research indicates that 12 or more successful sales demonstrate a good record.
You can use the Nar Quick stat page to inform your questions when you’re picking your agent.
Does the Agent Advocate for First-Time Home Buyers?
You want a loyal advocate for first-time homebuyers who knows about various programs and incentives. They should be able to help you find assistance for items including:
- Down payment relief
- Tax breaks for upgrades that enhance energy efficiency
- Low-interest loan programs in your state
On average, homebuyers who receive down payment assistance save over $17,000. The right agent will be on top of trends and industry changes to help their clients find the best deal on a great mortgage rate.
Spend Less Than Your Pre-Approval for Your Mortgage
The single most important thing is that your new home is in the best location. If you keep your mortgage payment lower, you can always make upgrades. And while it’s exciting to have the money to buy your dream home, it’s important to think about the responsibilities.
As a homeowner, you must pay for all the repairs and upgrades. If your mortgage payment is too high, it might cause financial difficulties when you need to pay for an expensive repair.
It Pays to Purchase a Home Warranty Package
You can plan for major repairs and unforeseen events, but Kevin Seawright says it’s vital to have a good warranty. You’ll want to invest in a plan that covers your appliances and electronics. Coverage should include things such as:
- Issues related to improper installation
- Normal aging such as rust and corrosion
- Systems like air conditioners, water filtration, and solar energy
Peace of mind is worth the price of warranty coverage.
Home Buying Should Be Enjoyable
The more prepared you are, the more enjoyable it will be to purchase your new home. Set aside time each weekend to look at houses in your target range. Grab a map and explore the locations that have your perfect daily commute.
It’s fun to look at paint colors, fabrics and accents, flooring options, and daydream about home accessories. You can even talk to interior designs to help with colors, textures, and artwork that reflects your lifestyle. When you imagine your new home, it will make finding the right neighborhood, a real estate agent, and a mortgage lender less stressful.
Look to the Experts for Help
Kevin Seawright’s company, RPS Solutions LLC, provides specialized real estate management services, including:
- Asset acquisition and liquidation
- Government contracting
- Commercial and residential development
- Creating wealth and stabilization for neighborhoods
He helps envision elevating experiences for first-time homebuyers by helping them navigate the journey.