My wife Fran and I really enjoy working with first time homebuyers. As parents, we’ve helped our children go through the process of buying their first homes, and know that there’s a lot of concerns and unknowns for first timers, and we enjoy the opportunity to work with clients and put their minds at ease during the process. Here are a few things that I think every first-time homebuyer should keep in mind when they decide to purchase a home.
Prepare Your Finances
You can take care of a lot of initial questions and concerns by knowing what your budget is, plus this will help to instantly narrow your search. Getting a mortgage pre-approval with the bank can help set your mind at ease and really jumpstart the home buying process. Some institutions even have online forms that you can complete to start this process, making it a simple item to check off the to-do list!
Another great tool is the mortgage calculator (and you can find one on my homepage!). This helps give you an idea of what kind of loan you’d be looking at for various price points of homes.
Keep In Mind Other Fees
Once you know your budget, it’s important to keep in mind other fees that will come up before you start shopping around for your home. Keeping this in mind will allow you to find a home that still works for your budget, and allows you to have money left over for additional expenses such as insurance, property taxes, home improvements, etc. Additionally, if you are going from renting to owning, there may be additional expenses that come up that you did not have to worry about before such as landscaping, utilities, and home maintenance. Keeping these things in mind before you go out and find your dream home will help you to feel comfortable and confident when making a decision on a price point for your home.
Know What You Want, and What’s Important To You
The buying process can be daunting if you don’t have a clear vision of what it is you’re looking for. Take some time to think about what matters most to you in looking for a home. Do you want a big yard, be in a certain neighborhood, new construction? Thinking about this beforehand will help expedite the process of finding your dream home, and will help your realtor know what kind of homes to show you – saving you all the time of looking at something that you know won’t suite your needs.
Be Ready To Make A Decision
The Real Estate market can move quick. If there’s a home listed that you love, my advice is to move quick on it. It can be upsetting and discouraging for home buyers (not just first timers!) when they see a home they love, maybe even do a showing, but then don’t make an offer quick enough and it gets snagged by someone else. Find the balance between making sure it’s the right decision for you, and acting quickly when you’ve decided you want to move forward. It’ll save everyone lots of headaches and heartaches, and hopefully by knowing what you’re looking for beforehand, you’ll help yourself to feel confident about the homes you see and what you like.
Find a Realtor You Trust
Having a realtor helping you that you trust to lead you in the right direction will set your mind at ease. Using an experienced realtor that can help you navigate the process, protect your interests, and help you to negotiate prices will make the home buying experience run smoothly.