7 First Time Home Buyer Tips
First time home buyer tips are something everyone who is going to purchase real estate for the first time should seek out and use to their advantage. Buying your first home is a big deal! If you are like most it will be the biggest purchase you have ever made. This naturally leads to a mix of emotions including excitement, anticipation and anxiety. While it may be impossible to eliminate the stress that comes from your first home purchase, you can certainly minimize it by going into the situation prepared.
Family and friends will all try to advise you as to what you need to do, especially if they have bought one or more homes in the past. You just need to do your homework, be prepared, let the experts help you and be positive. The right home for you is out there. When you find it, you will know.
- Get Specific About What You Want. Know what you want to look for in a home. Make a wish list and carry it with you so you can keep track of what features each home has as you look. At the end of the day, you will be glad you have taken the time to write the pros and cons down on each home as they all tend to run together after a long day of looking at multiple properties. When you meet with your real estate agent for the first time, share your wish list. Tell your agent what areas of town you want to consider, what your budget is and your time frame to move. Giving the agent an accurate picture of what you hope to achieve makes the process of finding a home for you much easier.
- Get Pre-Approved For A Loan. Get your financial house in order. Know how much money you can spend before you start your house hunt. You may think you have an accurate idea of what you can afford, but it is always better to have that mortgage pre-approval letter in hand when first meeting with your agent. While a pre-qualification letter may help you understand how much you can afford to pay each month towards a mortgage payment, it does very little to solidify your position as a legitimate home buyer. When the time comes for you to submit an offer on a specific property the owner and the sellers REALTOR® are more than likely going to want you to be pre-approved! The only way a seller is going to have some reasonable assurances you will get the loan is by providing them with a pre-approval letter. Providing the seller security, especially if you are competing with other buyers is one of the best tips for buying your first home.
- Look Thoroughly For Potential Homes. It is important to make sure you do some home buying research before making a purchase. Your agent will be able to help significantly with finding the perfect first home. However, it is still worthwhile for you to do your own searching using as many avenues as you can think of – including driving around favorite neighborhoods in search of for-sale signs, searching online listings and putting the word out to family, friends and co-workers. You never know where the perfect home will come from. When you are really ready though seek out a great real estate agent to work with you! The Cummings Company will be glad to help you start your search for your new home. We have homes listed in all price ranges and locations but we can help you look at other listings as well. Give us a call. Your new home is out there just waiting on you! Start your home search now!
- Get A Good Real Estate Agent. You don’t have to go through this home buying process all alone. Hire a licensed REALTOR®. Having a Realtor working for you will help you gain access to the best available homes on the market, will help you during the entire process and will be on your side during price negotiations. While you are at work, your Realtor is working for you, searching for more listings to show you. Hiring a real estate agent is important. You want someone on your team who will be fighting for you every step of the way.
- Make The Right Offer. Make sure you understand local home values! Negotiation is a fine art, not something learned in a day. This is part of why you search for agents that set reasonable goals for their clients and tend to obtain those goals. You want someone who understands what a home is worth and can argue the value points reliably. There may be any number of things that can give you an edge in negotiations, from pet damage to kitchen appliances. The problem is knowing just how much those things should affect the value of the home. A great agent will be looking out for your best interests all throughout the home buying process. They will make sure you are paying fair market value or under for your new home. Remember, your real estate agent is working for you!
- Listen to The Home Inspector. Another important first time home buyer tip is to find a top notch home inspector! If the seller accepts your offer the next step is a thorough home inspection. A home inspector will look over the entire property and determine if there are any common home inspection issues, as well as anything out of the ordinary you should be aware of. You should listen closely to what the inspector has to say about the home even if you are madly in love with it. Serious home issues can quickly ruin any enjoyment you would get out of your new purchase and could turn your dream home into a nightmare. Almost every home even if it is new is going to have some issues. It is extremely rare to ever find the “perfect” house. The home inspector’s job is to find these issues for you. If there are problems but they are not complete deal breakers, your agent will let you know the next best step. You should be able to renegotiate the price if the inspection shows you will need to make major repairs later on.
- Be A Responsible First Time Homeowner. The last tip I will leave with you is to take responsibility for your purchase. Once you have closed on the house and moved in, it may feel like all your work is done. It is important to remember though that you are just getting started in home ownership. Where before your landlord covered repair expenses, now those expenses are yours to bear. This can be quite a shock if you are not prepared for it. Start saving for home maintenance immediately. Your home should last several lifetimes if properly cared for. If maintenance is ignored, though, you could find yourself losing out on your investment and your living quarters. Take care of maintenance and always keep a back up fund for emergency repairs and you should be able to enjoy your home for many years to come. Make sure to keep your home insured for an amount that will cover your loses in the event of a tragic event such as a fire. By following this first time home buyer advice you will increase your chances dramatically of have a smooth and pleasant Real Estate transaction.
All the agents at The Cummings Company are licensed REALTORS®. We are all willing to go that “extra” mile for you, the buyer. We will work hard for you from the first initial meeting until we are sitting at the closing table with you. We want to make your first time home buying experience the best possible experience ever! We love what we do every day and we are ready to help you buy your new home.