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Tips for First Time Home Buyers

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Are you a first-time home buyer eager to get into the market? Here are steps to take to help you decide whether you’re ready to take the plunge in Austin.

1. Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area.  Check out RealtyAustin.com so you have an idea of what prices are for areas you want to be in. You can also do a quick search of actual MLS listings in your area. You can also view AustinHomeSearch.com.

2. See what you can afford. There are many mortgage calculators to give you ball park figure to see what your payment would be.  The most realistic numbers will come directly from a mortgage specialist.

3. Find out what your total monthly housing cost would be, including taxes and homeowners insurance.  You also may want to consider having your homeowners insurance and taxes escrowed into your monthly mortgage payment. Again, a mortgage professional would be able to assist you with these figures

4. To get an idea of what you’ll pay in insurance, pick a property in the area where you want to live and make a call to a local insurance agent for an estimate. You won’t be obligated to get the insurance, but you’ll have a good idea of what you’ll pay if you buy. Make sure you get the appropriate coverage for the type of property. For example, condos have different insurance policies than single family homes.

5. Find out how much you’ll likely pay in closing costs. The upfront cost of settling on your home shouldn’t be overlooked. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items such as homeowners insurance or homeowners association fees.