Advice for First-Time Buyers
The first time you buy a home can be the most exciting and the most nerve-racking experience. In
order to make the process a positive one, take this helpful advice for first-time buyers to heart.
It can help you avoid many of the mistakes that first-time homebuyers make and can ensure that
you buy the house that is right for you. Here is the general roadmap for happy house hunting!
Before you even begin to start saving properties and calling agents, you have to get your finances
in order. That begins with cleaning up old debts, improving your credit score, and building up a
healthy savings to put down a 20% down payment if at all possible. Get this done first.
At the very least, most banks will require 5% down. Just know that lenders will typically require you
to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) if your down payment is less than 20%
Once you have your financial ducks in a row, it’s time to start preparing for the house hunt. The
first step is actually going to a bank and getting pre-approved for a home loan.
Keep in mind that pre-approval and pre-qualification are two different things:
- Pre-Qualification: Only tells you how much you can afford for a home.
- Pre-Approval: Tells you how much the bank will guarantee to lend you for a home.
When you go to an open house with a pre-approval letter in hand, the seller knows that you are a
serious buyer. Plus knowing exactly how much you are approved for can help you stay within your
budget. When budgeting for your home purchase, don’t forget to include other costs that will arise
- Closing Costs
- And Other Fees
Know What You Are Looking For
Now comes the fun part for first-time homebuyers. Now you get to put together your wish list for
the house that you really want. You will want to have two lists to work from. One list is your list of
- Specific Number of Bedrooms
- Specific Number of Bathrooms
- Square Footage
- Location, Etc.
These are the things that you cannot budge on. These may include a lot of other things like
specific school districts or distance from your place of employment. That is your primary list. Your
second list is your wants; things that you would love to have but are not a deal-breaker if they are
not included. Things like:
- Attic Bedroom
- Finished Basement
- Multi-Car Garage, Etc.
Get Help from a Pro
After you have completed these steps, it is at last time to call in a pro. You have everything you
need to give your agent a good idea about what you are looking for. Now let your agent take you
through the next exciting steps! Contact me now to discuss your goals for buying a home.