Thinking of buying a home for the first time? This is sure to be a thrilling time for you! Purchasing a home will be one of the largest investments you will have and therefore making knowledgeable decisions is important. Here are six first-time home buyer tips to help you make your purchase:
Tip #1 – Is the Time Right for You to Buy a Home?
Buying a home is a long-term investment. Make sure you are prepared to stay in the home for at least five years. You will also need to determine if you have a stable income with money saved for a down payment as well as money set aside for moving expenses, insurance and home repairs.
Tip #2 – Work with a Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent will be your professional guide throughout the home-buying process. Your Realtor’s experience will save you time and be of upmost importance when it is time to negotiate a sales contact. Your agent’s knowledge of current market values in areas of interest will help you find the home that meet your needs and from overpaying.
Tip #3 – Get Pre-Approval for a Mortgage
Looking for a home before you know how much you can afford can lead to frustration. By getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan, you will not only know how much you can really afford, but when it is time to make an offer on a home, that pre-approval indicates you are a serious buyer.
Tip #4 – Determine What Type of Home You Need
Figuring out what your home needs are is not as easy as it sounds. You may have a list that is unrealistic for your budget. It is best to write down what you need and what you would like to have.
For example, you may want four bedrooms, but could make do with three. A finished lower level might be nice, but is not absolutely necessary. Is an updated kitchen a requirement? Do you need lots of storage room? Is a large yard important to you? Do you need a home office?
Once you have determined your list of non-negotiable “must haves”, your real estate agent will then be better able to find homes that match those needs. Be willing to compromise. Your entire wish list will probably not be found all in one home.
Tip #5 – Location of Your Home
Where you live is an important factor in your home search. Do you want to reside near where you work? Do you need to be near a highway because you often travel? Does living near friends and family appeal to you? Do you prefer to live in an urban, suburban or rural area?
If you are open to location, you will have many more housing options than if you narrow possible locations. If you do have your heart set on a particular area, it might be best to be open minded to view homes for sale in nearby neighborhoods.
Once you have determined the area in which you prefer to live, it is always a good idea to drive around that area at different times of day to get a good feel for the neighborhood and its traffic patterns.
Tip #6 – Strategize Your Offer on a Home
Once you have found a home on which you want to make an offer, you will need to strategize with your real estate agent about your offer. Current market values, a home’s past sales history and the home’s key features are factors to consider when making an offer. In a seller’s market, your offer to purchase may not be the only one coming in to that home seller. A strong and fair offer may be the best strategy.
Look at homes for sale.