Buying a home for the first time is an exciting accomplishment, but it’s a process that often comes with pre-purchase jitters. Heck, you might even suffer from Mortgagophopia!
For a first-time homebuyer, these fears are expected, but can be alleviated. Here are five common first-time homebuying fears and the optimistic truths to help ease your worries.
Fear: I’m not going to have any extra cash after having to fork over so much on a down payment.
Reality: A lot of first-timers think they need to put down their whole life savings, and it’s just not the case. There are down payment assistance programs at your fingertips you probably didn’t even know about.
Then there’s the FHA loan, which if you haven’t heard about it, you really need to. It’s the cure for a lot of first-timers’ mortgage fears. First, FHA loans require only a 3.5% down payment, which means with a $200,000 mortgage, you’d only need to put down $7,000, versus $40,000 for a traditional 20% down payment. Even with an average credit score of 580, you will still get maximum financing. Here’s some more numbers on the very popular (and incredibly flexible) FHA loan.
Fear: What happens if I end up buying a house and not liking it?
Reality: Buyer’s remorse is a very real feeling for first-time homebuyers, because the commitment is so significant. It can be hard to keep out the voice of fear and doubt. What if I don’t like living here? What if it never feels like home? What if my neighbors are creepy? The reality is, you adjust and settle in—just like you do with anything new. And sooner than you think, you’ll grow attached to your new home, especially once you start making memories in it!
Fear: What if something happens and I can’t afford my next mortgage payment?
Reality: Unexpected hardships can happen. The loss of a job, a medical burden, or any number of circumstances can leave you trying to scrounge up money to make your monthly mortgage payment. But guess what? Mortgage help is available to you. There are a number of options available if you’re concerned about making timely payments, such as reaching out to your lender, refinancing your mortgage, loan modification, loss mitigation and more.
Fear: What if my family outgrows our home?
Reality: Starting or expanding a family is often the reason most people move, especially if you bought a starter home. When buying your first home, it may be wise to consider some growing room, but you don’t have to overdo it. Having more home generally means more maintenance and financial responsibility. If you feel you’ve outgrown your home, you can always consider an addition, and a cash-out refinance can help pay for that. Or, you can look to sell.
Fear: Overall, the idea of homeownership is a bit terrifying. Renting just seems easier.
Reality: Easier? Debatable. Consider this: when you pay rent, it disappears into someone else’s pocket. When you make a mortgage payment, you’re building equity and are one step closer to payoff. And in many places across the country, it’s actually cheaper to buy. If in doubt, use our rent vs. buy calculator to see which could be right for you.
Don’t let anxiety over buying a house discourage you. Buying your first home is an exciting time and something that should be carefully researched and celebrated. By conquering these homebuying and mortgage fears or any other you may have, you’ll be able to enjoy this accomplishment for many years to come.
For more on what it means to be a first-time homebuyer, go here.
Ditech is not a financial advisor and the ideas outlined above are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as investment or financial advice and should not be construed as such. Consult a financial advisor before making decisions regarding important personal financial matters, and consult a tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest and tax implications.