Thinking about buying your first home? Here are some tips to consider:
- First get pre-approved by a mortgage loan officer. You need to figure out how much home you can afford. You will also learn about down payments, closing costs, homeowner’s insurance and other home-related costs.
- Organize your personal budget. This will help you figure out expenses and what you feel comfortable paying each month.
- Take advantage of down-payment incentives to save money. Ask your mortgage loan officer about what programs are available.
Do Your “Home” Work
- Make a realistic wish list of priorities of what you are looking for in a home. What is most important to you – location, number of bedrooms, open floor plan, etc.? (Remember, the most important detail will be your home’s location!)
- Study current market values. You need to understand the real estate market values in your specified areas of interest in order to make an informative offer to purchase a home. Your real estate agent can help you with this information.
- Understand how higher mortgage interest rates affect a monthly payment. Your mortgage loan officer will show you different payment scenarios with rates and how locking in a mortgage rate can protect you from paying more money.
- Think about price versus long-term home value. It may make better sense to reach for your higher budget limit. Remember, you are going to be in your home long term.
- In your home search, there will need to be compromises. No home will have 100% of your wish list.
- Your home purchase is a long-term investment. Be sure the home you buy is going to meet your needs for the next 7-10 years.
- You may need to be aggressive with an offer. Some areas are more popular and listed homes may have shorter days on the market than others.
Select An Agent
- Your agent will take you through the buying process so you thoroughly understand it. This will help you to make good decisions when the time is right to make an offer on a home.
- Your agent will provide his or her expert advice as well as help you understand current market values for homes in areas of interest.
- When it is time to make an offer on a home, your agent will help you with details for the contract to purchase, including adding contingencies. Once the contract is accepted, your agent will make sure all contingencies are satisfied and that details are arranged for a smooth closing. At the closing table, your agent will be with you when you sign your closing documents.