Although same sex couples have gained more rights, housing still remains a challenge. It’s not necessarily access but because there are still many disparities in financing, insurance, and more products. Just because marriage equality is a reality in the Sunshine State, that doesn’t mean there’s not more to do. If you’d like to purchase a property together, it’s important to understand all the factors at play.
What First-Time Homebuyers should Know
The good news is, mortgage interest rates remain very affordable. Of course, low rates currently are incrementally inching up. But, lenders have loosened their standards a bit. And, FICO remodeled its credit scoring algorithm to lessen the impact of medical debts. Plus, there are a plethora of home loan products available. Combine all this with so much new construction about the Orlando area, and it’s a great time for first-time homebuyers to enter the real estate market.
“The fact that same-sex marriage is legal in some places and not others makes it especially important for married gay and lesbian people to have certain legal documents in place, including a will and an advanced directive.” —CNBC.com
This being said, it’s definitely worthwhile for both of you to go through your credit reports thoroughly. After all, about 20 million credit files contain errors. And, some of those are sufficient enough to cause mortgage approval problems. That’s the last thing you’d care to run into. But, with a bit of preparation and some imagination, you can navigate the home buying process successfully.
Same Sex Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid
Of course, it all starts with forethought. You should save your down payment and check your credit file annually. When you have a down payment ready to go, then save for those other home buying expenses. These include inspections, moving, closing costs, and some miscellaneous items. Additionally, you should know about the following same sex homebuyer mistakes to avoid:
- Not having the right legal protections and insurance coverage. Get to know which insurance products you need as a couple. With the right types of insurance coverage, you’ll have peace of mind. Plus, these are very important because they help out a great deal in the wake of unfortunate events. Don’t make the mistake of foregoing coverage because expenses can quickly amount to tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Being unprepared for seller rejections. It’s likely you’ll be rejected, if you submit lowball offers, particularly in such an active real estate market. Some sellers might reject an offer to get closer to their asking price. If that’s out of line with the true market value, you’ll have to move on. Any experienced real estate professional can tell you some sellers are just obstant and unrealistic about pricing. It’s unfortunate, but it does happen.
- Taking-on new debt before closing day. One huge mistake is to take on more debt prior to closing. Sure, it’s very tempting to buy new furniture and finance it with no interest for several years. But, that will affect your debt-to-income ratio and that could negatively impact your credit score. Just don’t finance a car or make large purchases. Even withdrawing large amounts of cash for purchases is a no-no to lenders.
- Not shopping around for the right home loan. Shop around to ensure you get a good deal–don’t just go with the first product you come across. The more you shop and compare, the better.
- Neglecting how the home will be titled. Be sure to speak with a lawyer about this, because you want it to be titled correctly, especially if just one of you is taking out a mortgage.
If you’re going to sell your home in the near future and buy a new house, please don’t hesitate to phone me at 407-616-7286, I’ll be happy to speak with you.