9 Home Buying Myths Debunked – Don’t Fall for These Common Traps!

When it comes to buying a home, there's no shortage of advice from well-meaning friends, family, and social media. But not all of it is accurate! Let's bust some common myths and get you on the right path to homeownership.

Myth #1: You Need a 20% Down Payment

Fact: You don't need a 20% down payment to buy a home. Many loan programs allow for much lower down payments. For example, FHA loans require as little as 3.5%, and VA loans and USDA loans may not require any down payment at all. However, if you put down less than 20%, you may need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Myth #2: Your Pre-Approval Rate is Your Final Rate

Fact: The interest rate you get when pre-approved is not locked in. Interest rates can fluctuate daily based on market conditions. Your final rate will be set when you lock in your mortgage rate, typically after you have an accepted offer on a house.

Myth #3: You Should Wait for Home Prices to Drop

Fact: Waiting for prices to drop can be a gamble. Home prices are influenced by many factors, including supply and demand. Instead of waiting, focus on your readiness and ability to afford a home that meets your needs.

Myth #4: Buying is Always Cheaper Than Renting

Fact: This depends on various factors like location, market conditions, and personal circumstances. While owning a home can build equity, renting can sometimes be more affordable and flexible, especially if you plan to move in the near future.

Myth #5: Find a Home Before Applying for a Loan

Fact: It's smart to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting. Pre-approval gives you a clear idea of your budget and shows sellers that you are a serious buyer.

Myth #6: Buying a Fixer-Upper Saves Money

Fact: Fixer-uppers can come with hidden costs and require significant time and effort. Before buying a fixer-upper, get quotes for necessary repairs to ensure it fits within your budget and capabilities.

Myth #7: Wait Until You Can Afford Your 'Forever' Home

Fact: Buying a starter home can be a smart move, allowing you to build equity and potentially move up to a larger home later. Waiting indefinitely could mean missing out on years of homeownership benefits.

Myth #8: A 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage is Always Best

Fact: While a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is popular, it’s not the only option. Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and other loan types might offer lower initial rates and could be a better fit depending on your situation.

Myth #9: Excellent Credit is Required to Buy a Home

Fact: While excellent credit can get you better terms, there are loan programs available for those with less-than-perfect credit. FHA loans, for instance, are designed to help first-time buyers with lower credit scores.

Remember, the home-buying process is unique for everyone. It's important to do your research, ask questions, and work with professionals who can help guide you through the process. Reach out for more information and personalized answers.

* Specific loan program availability and requirements may vary. Please get in touch with your mortgage advisor for more information.