03/29/2019: Buying Your First Home

Some decisions ask you to take leaps of faith. These moments can either reward your boldness, or teach you a tough lesson. However, when it comes to putting down your hard-earned cash, it is best to avoid crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Buying your first home is one of the biggest milestones in your life, and it could be THE biggest financial decision you’ll ever make. Before you begin searching for a place of your own, you must do your homework. People’s Bank is here to help you with what you need to know before you buy a home and how to know if you are ready.

Check Your Credit Score

In the past, we broke down the importance of your credit score. When you are considering buying a house, this will be crucial. Your mortgage rate will vary based on your score, and a higher score could save you a significant amount of money.

Higher score= lower interest rate

Lower interest rate= more money left in your pocket

Before you consider purchasing a home, your score might need some work. This will demand some patience, but boosting your credit will prove beneficial in the long run. Peoples Bank can help you climb the ladder with their Financial Planning Services.

There are a handful of methods you can use to repair your score. Paying down and consolidating debts is a good place to start, and so is refinancing. A great way to have success as a potential home buyer is to avoid opening any new lines of credit leading up to your mortgage application. Having open lines of credit in your name can make it considerably harder for you to get the interest rate that fits your budget.

Rework your Budget

Another thing to assess before you buy a home is your budget. While you might be feeling optimistic about your goal you will have to be honest with yourself. Ask yourself if you can afford a monthly payment on top of your existing costs.

Buying a home means you might be making payments on your car AND your garage

To take control of your budget, you might have to make some lifestyle changes. Evaluating your spending helps prioritize your needs and allow you to save up for a down payment and other moving costs! Whether it be cutting back on dining out or pushing back a trip you planned, every little bit will count. Peoples Bank will be there to help you when you begin setting aside your money.

Get Pre-approved

One way to get the ball rolling when applying for a mortgage is pre-approval. Pre-approval can take some weight off your shoulders leading up to your big purchase. Remember:

Getting pre-approved does not mean you are committing to a transaction

This is simply a step you can take to be taken seriously as a buyer when the time comes.

Up Your Down Payment

We’ve talked a lot about saving money and stretching out your dollar. You can now filter any extra money towards maximizing your down payment. The more money you put down for your home, the less you will owe every month. This is a huge part of your decision, and the most important thing is being comfortable with the amount. A larger down payment will allow you to breathe easy in the future when your monthly payments are due.

Another thing to keep in mind with your down payment is your long-term home. If you make a higher down payment, you will start out with a higher level of equity. If your home loses value for any reason, having a higher equity will ensure that you own more than you owe!

Set Up an Inspection

Have a professional inspection done on the property of any home you consider. Any underlying foundation issues and other health factors need to be addressed to ensure your safety. You might be discouraged if an inspection goes poorly, but it is best to know what you are getting. Some discoveries made during an inspection are things you can work around, while others could require you to walk away empty handed. In the end, a home inspection can save you a ton of money by catching problems before they worsen. Wiring and plumbing are two examples of things that you will want to pay attention to when an inspection takes place.


With the right planning, buying a home can be more exciting than it is stressful. The knowledgeable team at Peoples Bank can help you overcome any worries that come with house hunting. Along with expertise in real estate, our employees are members of your community and they know the area well. To learn more about buying your first home, visit any of our locations in Cuba, Steelville, Sullivan, or Bourbon, or visit www.peoplesbk.com.

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