Buying a home can be a long and confusing process, and for a first time home buyers, it can be even more so. Save yourself some of the headache with these 7 tips to first time home buying.
1. FIND YOURSELF A GOOD AGENT
A good real estate agent makes a big difference with any home purchase, but especially for a first-time home buyer.
Look for an agent who is not only well qualified and knowledgeable about the area you want to live in, but also one who is patient and takes the time to really get to know your needs.
After all, an important role of an agent — especially for inexperienced buyers — is that of a teacher.
2. MAKE SOME CHECKLISTS
Buying a home for the first time can be intimidating, but it’s much easier if you break it down into small parts.
When shopping for a home, make a list of all the features you’re looking for. You can mark them off and keep track your favorite parts of all the different houses you see.
And after you make an offer, work with your agent to make a checklist of all the steps you need to take before closing. Not only will it help you stay organized, but it also makes the whole process feel more doable.
3. PRE-QUALIFY FOR A LOAN
Before you start shopping for houses, it’s a good idea to pre-qualify for a loan.
This will let you know what price range you should shop in, and it tells sellers that you’re serious about your offer. It can also help speed up the process once you decide to buy a home.
4. CHECK YOUR CREDIT SCORE
Your credit score can make a big difference in what kind of interest rate you’ll pay on your home loan — or if you can qualify for a loan at all.
It’s important to know your credit score up front. Not only will it help you know what to expect when shopping for a mortgage, it can also alert you to potential problems.
Credit reports aren’t always accurate, so getting a copy of your report early in the buying process will give you time to iron out any issues that you might uncover along the way.
5. FIND A GREAT INSPECTOR
Every home someone purchases — even one that’s brand new — ought to be inspected by a qualified, experienced home inspector.
The best inspectors are extremely thorough. They’ll find every little problem with the home, which is vital to know up front. Buyers need to be aware of these things before making their final decision.
A good inspection will let you know exactly what to expect down the road. It’s money well spent.
6. WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD?
This is a decision that needs to be made up front, and there’s no easy answer.
Mortgage companies can tell you what kind of loan you qualify for, but that’s only part of the decision.
You also need to look at your personal budget and what kind of lifestyle you want to live. Be sure you include expenses like homeowner’s insurance and property taxes in the planning process.
7. EDUCATE YOURSELF
Before you start the home-buying process — and as you’re going though it — it’s important to do your homework.
You need to know a lot of different things, like what types of loans are available, what to look for in potential neighborhoods, and the definition of lots of real estate terms.
The Internet has both solid information and some misleading Web sites, but a good agent can help you shorten the learning curve.
If you need any buying or selling service, we are here to help. Check out all Stonebridge Mortgage’s services.