Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
Your first home is probably the biggest purchase you will make in your life so far—it can be an exhilarating time but you probably also have lots of questions. Here are some tips for first-time home buyers:
1. Get Pre-Approved
Before your start looking at houses it is important that you first know how much you can really afford. You can start the financial process by looking at your credit score. Having a good credit score is one of the most important factors to qualify for a loan. Next you should talk to a lender to get pre-qualified for a loan. Knowing exactly how much a lender is willing to give you to purchase a home will allow you to shop with confidence. There is no greater disappointment than thinking you have found the perfect home just to find out you can’t afford it. As an added tip, shop around when you are looking for a lender. Getting a second opinion can never hurt and one lender may be able to offer you a better amount or interest rate than another.
2. Prioritize Your Wants & Needs
Shopping for homes is exciting and fun! However, if you don’t have a clue what you might be looking for, you could end up making the home buying process a longer than it needs to be. Spending months looking through a hundred homes can turn the process into a frustrating and tiresome one for you and your Realtor. Make a list of features you’d like to have in a home and categorize them as “must-haves” vs. “nice-to haves”—but remember to keep this list realistic with your budget.
3. Look Online
With you wants and needs list completed, get online to start looking at homes. The Internet is where 90% of home buyers start their search. It is a great resource to get a feel for what is on the market and compare homes that are in your price range. This can help you quickly weed out the homes you don’t want to see and select the few you want to see in person.
4. Select a REALTOR®
Purchasing a home is an exciting time in anyone’s life, but the process can get to be overwhelming especially for first-time buyers. Selecting a REALTOR® who will represent and support you throughout the entire process is of the upmost importance. Your REALTOR® will advise you, keep you on the right track, help you negotiate, and handle all the paperwork during your transaction. Finding a REALTOR you can trust will put your mind at ease during the process, so if you need to, sit down with a few agents and decide for yourself which one is the best fit for you.