If you’re a first time home buyer, we know that typically you get 90% of your information from the internet before you begin the search for your first home. We also know that first time home buyers do much of their information gathering about home loans on the internet as well.
This “insider” information has led to most real estate and mortgage websites offering a “how much home do you qualify for” widget. You get to enter some basic like your desired sales price, down payment, interest rate etc. The widget then calculates a monthly payment and estimates (based on the amount of income you entered) a sales price for which you qualify.
it all sounds pretty simple, but the real value for your home search?
None!… Zero!… Zip!… Nada!
There is some entertainment value however.
It’s very similar to those photography kiosks you find in some malls, or in the casinos on the Strip in Las Vegas.
You know the ones where you get to put your face on the world’s most perfect body? It’s fun to imagine, but not likely to happen in the real world.
Those “what do I qualify for” widgets are the same thing: FANTASY! and they only create unrealistic expectations for first time home buyers.
Today’s lending world is full of strange new terms, like “overlays” and “LLPAs”. What these terms mean to you is that:
What you buy!
Where you buy!
How you buy! – all potentially have an impact on your first time home buyer loan and most importantly the monthly payment.
Did you know? That if your first home has a Homeowner’s Association Fee of $200, it impacts your monthly “nut” the same as an increase of $40,000 in your mortgage amount.
So, if you enjoy the “fantasy” of these widgets, have fun with them!
But, If you’re interested in finding out what you truly qualify for, contact a lender who specializes in first time home buyer programs and the incentives available for first time home buyers.
Your first time home buyer loan, is not an off the shelf product and these widgets lead you to believe they are.
Buying your first home is the most important decision of your financial life and trusting it to a bunch of 1’s and 0’s, is not only creating false expectations, it will lead to a great deal of frustration as you begin to realize that your “dream home” and the accompanying payment may not be within your reach.