The current housing market presents a unique set of challenges + opportunities for first-time homebuyers. With the number of homes for sale at an all-time low, finding the right property at the right price can feel daunting.
Some investors + potential buyers have adopted a wait-and-see approach with mortgage rates hovering around 8%. So, what does that mean for folks who are still searching? Reduced competition.
However, first-time homebuyers in today’s market still face two big challenges:
- High, inflation-driven prices
- Record-high mortgage rates
This has resulted in higher overall payments, forcing buyers to adjust their budgets, making the search for affordable homes much more challenging. Add economic certainty into the equation, and it drives home (pun intended) the importance of building your savings to weather unforeseen circumstances that may arise even after closing on your home.
If this all feels like a lot, don’t stress. Vantage Bank’s mortgage team created a handy guide to walk you through each step of the process and set you up for more success — with less stress — when buying your first home.
Preparing for a first-time home purchase
Before talking to a realtor, the first thing any San Antonian should do is get pre-qualified. This will set expectations for you and the realtor to start the process on sound footing.
From there, follow these four key considerations.
- Establish financial readiness: Ensure you’re saving enough for a down payment, closing costs + extra reserve, and work on improving your credit score if needed.
- Set a realistic budget: This helps you accurately assess home affordability, and account for potential future expenses. (Kitchen reno, anyone?)
- Navigate the mortgage process: Pre-approval is key, as is choosing the right mortgage option tailored to your individual needs.
- Consider alternative programs + assistance: It’s possible to effectively leverage these for a more positive financial outcome.
Each client’s journey is unique, but Vantage Bank’s mortgage team places a premium on collaboration with clients to overcome whatever challenges that may arise.
Where is the market heading?
Current market insights point towards mortgage rates remaining around 8-9% until Q2 of 2024, with a potential downward trend in the second half of the year, according to Vantage Bank Chief Mortgage Officer Cue Lipscomb.
Real estate in the Lone Star state is viewed as a solid investment, as home prices are expected to remain level in the short term before potentially increasing over the next decade.
Choosing an affordable home — one well within budget — is advised when considering the rising costs of additional maintenance + upkeep as compared to renting.
A good rule of thumb for all first-time homebuyers: Expect the unexpected and plan accordingly. Lipscomb advises taking an abundance of caution to ensure your income + liquid reserves will support long-term ownership.
Vantage Bank’s team is your team
The bank’s goal is to make sure every client feels confident + supported. This starts with full transparency on Vantage Bank’s end — from the pre-qualification process through closing (and beyond).
They look to build long-term partnerships rather than transactional relationships, which is why they partner with CPAs, investment advisors + other relevant parties to meet clients’ needs from a holistic perspective.
Ready to get started? Reach out to their mortgage team for a consultation. They’re ready when you are.
Do you own a home? We’re curious.