Buying a Home | Trusted Life Advice | Redstone Federal Credit Union

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Buying a Home

Your home. It’s where dreams take shape and memories are made. It’s one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make, and Redstone is here to support you every step of the way.

Wondering how much you can afford? When creating a budget, keep in mind that home expenses will extend beyond your mortgage. Be sure to factor in taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and homeowners’ association fees. A tailored financial plan will allow you to prepare for all of these expenses, so you can focus on making memories.

If you’re a first-time home buyer, or if you haven’t owned a home in more than three years, Redstone offers special programs designed to fit your needs. We understand the challenges of buying a first home, like coming up with a down payment. We’ve guided others just like you through this process, and many of them were surprised to learn that home ownership is more affordable than they thought.

From making an offer to meeting your new neighbors, there is so much to look forward to as you purchase your new home. Redstone can help you live brighter as you navigate this exciting process.

Do You Qualify as a First-Time Home Buyer?

First-time home buyers are not necessarily buyers who are purchasing their first home ever. You can also qualify as a first-time home buyer if you have not owned a home in the past three years.

You qualify as a first-time home buyer if you are:

  • An individual who has had no ownership in a principal residence during the three-year period ending on the date of purchase of the property.
  • A single parent who has only owned with a former spouse while married.
  • An individual who is a displaced homemaker and has owned with a spouse. Examples of a displaced homemaker include someone who is divorced, widowed, or separated.
  • An individual who has only owned a principal residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation (such as a mobile home) in accordance with applicable regulations.
  • An individual who has only owned a property that was not in compliance with state, local or model building codes and which cannot be brought into compliance for less than the cost of constructing a permanent structure.

Home Inspections

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. It is one of the most important things a buyer can do to ensure that the home purchase is a good buy that won’t cost a lot of money and cause stress.

Inspectors should cover at least the following: foundation, walls, roof, insulation, windows, doors, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, water heater, furnace, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical systems, plumbing, and outdoor areas. They should also look at do-it-yourself projects, making sure, for instance, that ceiling fans are installed correctly and backyard decks are safe. Even new construction should be inspected.

A qualified home inspector can be an extremely valuable resource, especially for first-time home buyers. During your home inspection, take full advantage of your inspector’s expertise and ask as many questions about your home as you can. The knowledge you’ll gain during your inspection will come in handy long after you’ve unpacked the last box.

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI) provide education, training, and certification for home inspectors.

Find inspectors in your area by visiting www.homeinspector.org or www.nahi.org.

Planning Your Move

Start planning your move soon after you get a closing date. An early start can pay off in many ways: you can sort through your belongings at your own pace and earn a tax deduction by donating used clothing and other household goods. You can also schedule a yard sale for the other items you no longer need.*

If you can schedule your move in the “off-peak season” from September through April, when demand for moving services is lower, you may get a better price and find that movers may be more flexible about their pickup and delivery dates.

If you do need to move during the summer, try to schedule it mid-month and/or mid-week, since the busiest times for movers are weekends and the end of the month, which may also mean a lower price. Go to moving.com for free quotes from professional movers.

Moving boxes and packing paper are expensive! Ask around or go online to see if you can find used moving boxes for free. Freecycle is a good place to start. You could save a bundle of money this way and many boxes can be used a number of times, especially wardrobe boxes.

Once you’re done with them, pass them along so they can be used again.

Download your moving checklist

For more information, speak with a Trusted Advisor

RFCU is not responsible for any product, service, or overall website content available at any third-party website. RFCU’s privacy polices do not apply to any third-party website and you should consult the privacy disclosures on that third-party website for further information about their privacy policies.

Must be an RFCU® member to obtain a loan. Must be eligible for membership and open a share savings account. A minimum balance of $5.00 is required to open and be maintained in share savings account at all times. Fees and other restrictions may apply. All loans subject to credit approval. Rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply. RFCU is an Equal Opportunity Lender.. Rates are determined by an evaluation of applicant credit at account opening. Your rate may be different. Various mortgage programs and terms are available.

* Contact your tax advisor for information with respect to tax benefits.

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