6 Steps to Your Home Purchase: A Guide for First Time Home Buyers
Buying a home can be a very overwhelming and stressful ordeal for most first time home buyers. Unfortunately, the vast amount of information that's readily available in today's fast paced world doesn't make things any easier! In fact, home buyers are increasingly faced with conflicting information, tips, and advice, often from sources who are motivated by their own hidden agenda.
The good news is that buying a home, even for first time buyers, can be a very smooth and rewarding experience, assuming the buyer is working with the right team of professionals. Here are the basic steps to buying your first home:
- Get pre-qualified for a mortgage: This is one item that most home buyers neglect to do, resulting in false hopes, lost time for everyone involved, and disappointment late in the game. Once considered a "good idea", getting pre-qualified for a loan is an absolute must in today's market. All banks that are selling foreclosure properties and most private sellers are demanding either a pre-qualification letter, or proof of funds for cash purchases, before they will even review and respond to any offers! Don't waste your time scouring the internet for free calculators and affordability guides. A competent mortgage lender will have information on all the latest programs available (and they do change quite often nowadays!) and can direct you to what makes the most sense for your particular situation. Plus, if you have some credit issues to resolve, they can often make great suggestions on how to do so in the least amount of time!
- Find a great real estate agent: The right buyer's agent is an integral piece of the whole buying experience. Home buyers should look for an experienced agent who is very knowledgeable on the local market trends and conditions. The right agent will always put their client's interests above their personal desire to earn a commission. The good news is that you've already come to the right place!
- Decide what you want in a home: First time home buyers often have unrealistic or unclear expectations of what they want vs. what they really need in a home. The best strategy is to make a list of absolute needs (i.e. location, number of bedrooms, size of the home and lot, etc.) and build your preliminary list off these criteria.
- Go look at some houses: Once you build a preliminary list of potential properties that meet your absolute requirements, go out and look at several homes. In doing so, you'll get a better understanding of what you like and what you don't really care for... you may even surprise yourself!
- Make an offer: Most first time home buyers are afraid to pull the trigger even when they find the "perfect" home that meets most of their criteria. When you find a home that has most of what you're looking for within your budget, you should not hesitate to make an offer. First determine the maximum amount you're willing to pay and submit your preliminary offer. A good agent should be able to provide good input on a suitable starting price point, based on recent comparable sales data, as well as overall local market trends. Don't forget to stick to your predetermined maximum price and not let yourself get too emotionally attached to the property.
- Select a competent attorney: Having a competent attorney to represent your interests is always a good idea, but even more so when you're a first time home buyer! Your attorney will ensure that your interests are protected and in addition to reviewing your contract, they will be able to provide valuable information on important items such as title insurance.
My team and I are ready to assist you with the purchase of your home. We can put you in touch with competent mortgage lenders, attorneys, and home inspectors that we've worked with in the past in order to ensure that your transaction goes as smoothly as possible!
- Mike Gregor | Realtor®