First Time Home Buyer Tips!
When I bought my first home last summer, I thought it would be smooth sailing. I assumed that since I work in communications in real estate, I was totally prepared. Oh, how wrong I was! I might spend my day immersed in all things real estate, but when it comes to purchasing your first home, I learned some things along the way. Below are some of my favorite tips to help you tackle purchasing your first home!
Find a Qualified REALTOR®
I am lucky enough to work in an office with 14 of the most amazing real estate professionals in the Mount Washington Valley, so when it came time to choose an agent to represent me, I had it easy. When looking for an agent, make sure they understand you and your needs. As their client, a REALTOR® is there to protect you, guide you through the entire process, and negotiate a purchase on your behalf.
Get Pre-Approved FIRST
One of the most important things you can do is to get pre-qualified for a mortgage. Knowing how much you can afford saves a lot of headaches down the road. Being pre-approved keeps you focused on houses within your price range, and it also greatly strengthens your negotiating power when the time comes to put in an offer.
Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover (or bad MLS photos)
Some houses don’t show well on the Multiple Listing Service; the home may be vacant, or there may have been poor lighting when the photos were taken. If you are unsure if a house could be your dream home, call your Realtor, they more than likely know the property and can tell you all about it! Don’t forget things such as paint can be easily and cheaply changed; that red kitchen might not be your style, but you can always change the color after you close on the home.
Get an Inspection
One of the most important things you can do as a first time homebuyer is get an inspection. An inspection might cost you a few dollars up front, but it can save you thousands down the road. An inspection will tell you if there is anything wrong with the house, or if big ticket items, such as the roof, will need to be replaced. If an inspection reveals things you aren’t comfortable with, you can renegotiate the contract, or withdraw if necessary.
Put Down the Credit Card
Do not make any big purchases prior to closing on your new home! While getting furniture for your new home is extremely fun, it can also be detrimental to you obtaining a home loan. Hold off on any big purchases or signing on a loan (no co-signing either). You don’t want to be left with a new big screen and couch and no home to place it in!
Your REALTOR® is a licensed professional that continually takes education courses to grow their knowledge bank. They are your resource for information. Whether you are looking for an inspector, or have no idea what the association rules mean, there are no silly questions!
One of the scariest parts of buying a first home for me was that my closing was delayed due to waiting on an appraisal for my lender. Luckily, my REALTOR® and my lender had both warned me that closing could be held up for several reasons out of my control. It doesn't happen every time, but it is a possibility. Since we knew this, my husband and I planned ahead, ensuring that we still had our rental for an extra month just in case, and had other options lined up if needed. At the end of the day, paying an extra month's rent was well worth it to ensure we weren't left scrambling to find a place to stay!
Sign up for our FREE Home Buyer Seminar! Learn more and sign up here!
When it comes time for you to purchase your first home, your REALTOR® is there for you. Here at Coldwell Banker Wright Realty, our sole focus is ensuring each real estate transaction for our clients goes as smoothly as possible, and that our clients are happy. Learn more about our agents and staff by clicking here.