Tips for the First Time Homebuyer
Buying a home, especially for the first time, can come with a mixture of emotions. It is a big financial decision, and while it is often an exciting time things can get stressful!
It’s easy to get swept up in the whirlwind of home shopping decisions and make mistakes that could leave you with buyer’s remorse. So, if this is your first time buying a home, or if it has been several years, knowledge is power. For less stress and smooth sailing into homeownership, study these tips. It’s important to feel confident, to know what to expect, as well as what questions to ask.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
What is it that you would like in a home? Please consider any requirements that you might have, this means anything from the number of bathrooms, bedrooms, garage space, neighborhood, and lot size. It is a good idea to come up with a list of “must-haves,” and “nice-to-haves,” this list can always be modified during the house hunt. Providing your realtor with a clear picture of what you are expecting will make the process easier for everyone. Your new house will be easier to find because there will be less wasted time looking at houses that are of no use to you.
KNOW YOUR BUDGET
Focus on what monthly payment you can afford rather than fixating on the maximum loan amount you qualify for. The best way of doing this is to get pre-approved by a mortgage professional. This will also give you an advantage when making an offer, (many realtors and sellers are reluctant to accept offers unless the potential buyer has been pre-approved.) It will also identify any credit issues that need to be addressed.
Don’t forget about the hidden costs of homeownership! You will also need money for closing costs, down payments and inspections. All this money needs to be available before you ever make an offer. Your agent or lender can help you crunch numbers on taxes, mortgage insurance, and utility bills. It is also a good idea to set aside at least 1-3 percent of the home’s purchase price annually for repairs and maintenance expenses.
TAKE ADVICE FROM THE PROFESSIONALS
While friends and family always mean best, most of the time they do not always know best when it comes to real estate. It is important to get and take advice from professional Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Home Inspectors. It’s to your advantage to have an experienced Realtor on your side during your purchase process and negotiations.
MAKE A GOOD OFFER
A good realtor can help you determine what a good offer is in any circumstance. In a highly sought after location, that may mean to go in with a full price offer right off the bat. Realtors also know when a home is overpriced and are ready with arguments to back up their offers. This is the art of negotiation!
ALWAYS HAVE AN INSPECTION
While it is not a requirement to have a home inspection, you SHOULD always have one, even if you are buying a new construction home.
Once your offer has been accepted the next step is to have a home inspection performed. The inspector examines both the interior and exterior of the house to find any potential problems. They will then allow you to meet them at the property so they can go through their findings and provide you with a written report with the findings. You should always take this opportunity to meet the inspector; it allows you to see what they found and of course, ask questions. Even if you are absolutely in love with the home, sadly sometimes serious problems mean that it’s better to walk away. Serious problems can soon turn your dream home into a nightmare. However, it is very rare for a home not to have some sort of problem, and the older the home the more issues you can expect. Talking with the inspector allows you to see if the issues found are minor/normal or something that more serious that needs to be addressed ASAP.
If the problems found are not deal breakers, then your Realtor will guide you through the various options open to you. This may include asking for the issue to be fixed or renegotiating the purchase price.
Thanks for reading! We hope these tips put you on the right footing towards your new home. Like this blog post? Tap HERE and like my Facebook page :)