If you’re considering buying a house in the near future, these five first time home buyer tips are a must-read. They’ll help you feel prepared and maybe even make you excited for one of the biggest decisions (and purchases!) of your life.
- Get Pre-approved. One of the steps many first time home buyers forget to start with is the simple step of getting pre-approved for your home loan. They start looking at houses online, find one they can’t live without, want to make an offer right away but don’t even realize they have to get pre-approved first (to see if they can even afford that dream home!). By the time they complete the process, the home has possibly flown off the market.
Our preferred mortgage lender, Supreme Lending, has an application on their website that is quick and easy to fill out, and they respond just as quickly as it takes you to fill out the form.
Don’t make the mistake of skipping this step. It will make the rest of your journey of buying a house much smoother!
- Vet Your Real Estate Agent. It’s your first time, and you don’t want to be swindled or taken advantage of. And, let’s be honest, you’ll be spending a decent amount of time with your real estate agent, so you kind of want to like them too.
You want an agent who:
Is well-versed in the market – is it hot? Is it slow? Is inventory low? Where will you get the most bang for your buck? You want them to be the one who knows the answers to all these questions and can help you move at the right pace.
Can negotiate well – there is a fine art of negotiation and an agent who is well-respected and well-connected is one you want on your side. You want them to fight for you without offending a seller; you want them to be able to read the listing agent and their client well; you want them to give you sound guidance on what to negotiate back with.
Listens to you – if an agent doesn’t sit down with you and really get to know your priorities and must-haves, don’t waste your time. And if they aren’t showing you properties that match those lists, get rid of them. You need an agent who will understand the nerves that can come with being a first time home buyer and who will listen to you and guide you well.
- Pick the right home in the right neighborhood. Since it’s your first home, it’s probably not your forever home, so make sure you’re considering resale value down the road. You’ve heard the saying, “location, location, location” and there’s a lot of validity to it. Is it in a good school district? Is the neighborhood up and coming or highly sought after? What are the local crime statistics? Can you see a highway or hear highway noise? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself, because someone else will be asking them once you are ready to sell your home.
- Take advantage of open houses. If there’s a home you’ve had your eye on but you’re wondering if those online photos are making it look a lot better than it may be in person, go to the open house! It’s best if you take your agent with you so they can guide you on questions to ask and things to look for. But even if they can’t be with you, ask them to give you tips on how to scope out the home.
- Buy the house you can afford. As real estate agents who take pride in what we do, we want to make sure that you’re not just buying the house that you want, but the house that you’ll be able to continue to live in, because you can actually afford it. We’re certainly not financial counselors, but we’re also not money hungry; and although any agent would love a big commission check, we don’t want it at the expense of you trying to make ends meet due to your mortgage payment.
So make sure you consider all the costs involved with buying a house. There’s an inspection and appraisal to pay for out of pocket. There is earnest money you have to put down. There are closing costs and potential repairs you may need to do to the home, and don’t forget all of the fun furniture and paint you’ll want to buy. So set a budget that is realistic for you, and we’ll make sure to find a home you can’t live without that stays within that budget. We’re here to make sure you don’t have to settle!
We could have listed many more tips for you to consider when buying your first home, but really, we’d love to meet you and discuss them in person! Feel free to reach out if you’re ready to start the process or if you have any questions about starting the process. And remember, if you are ready to start, the first question we’ll ask you is, “Have you been pre-approved?” 🙂
Click on our Meet the Team page if you’d like to get your home-buying journey started! There, you can find all of our contact information and our friendly faces as well. At Dani Beyer Real Estate, we strive to make the buying experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.