Buying your first home is a big step and investment, and often first time buyers aren’t sure where to begin in the process. Here are 9 things to consider before buying your first home that can help ease the process, save time and money, and help you avoid common mistakes.
Hire a Real Estate Agent
Find an agency or agent who is familiar with the area, knowledgeable of the market and someone you get along with. You will be working with them a lot throughout the process, so chemistry is key.
Start saving early
Funds will be needed for a down payment on the mortgage which could be as much as 20%. Consider this, if your home costs $150,000 that’s as much as $30,000 required for down payment. Some first time home buyer programs require less down payment, but it’s important to be prepared and talk to your real estate agent about these costs.
Know what you are looking for
It’s important to have a list of must-haves and have-nots before you start looking at houses. Also narrow down what’s important such as good school district, local safety, proximity to the grocery store or work. Make sure your real estate agent is aware of these prior to the initial home search.
It’s okay to be picky
We all want to start with our dream home, but that’s not always feasible, but it is important not to settle on the first home you see (unless it is your dream home). Don’t become an emotional buyer when it comes to your first home, it’s okay to look at multiple homes before you decide.
Stick to your budget
Look at houses within your price range or below. Below because you never know how much it may cost for minor home repairs and upgrades once you close. Be firm, this will help when it’s time to make an offer.
Make the most of open houses
Pay attention to the condition of the home and any potential repairs that might have to be made. Ask questions, such as when the home was built, how old the air conditioning unit is, and are the appliances new? These may come in handy when you get ready to negotiate.
Budget for Closing Costs and moving expenses
Again, this is why it’s important to stick to your budget, or slightly below. Closing costs could run between 2% – 5% of your loan amount.
Buy for the future
Think about where you want to be in 5 years, and buy for that. You may not have kids now, but if you plan on starting a family you will want that extra bedroom or be in close proximity to a good school district.
Don’t be afraid to Negotiate
A lot of negotiating can take place during the home buying process which can result in significant savings.
Buying your first home is exciting and stressful, so let us help you out. Give The Rhonda Gustitus Team a call at 941-426-4394.