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Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

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Ten Tips for First Time Home Buyers

When it comes to your first home, you want to make sure you get it right the first time. 

Buying your first home can be an exciting time but there are some important things to consider in order to avoid later regrets or hiccups that could come from rushing into the process unprepared. 

It’s an exciting time when you buy your first home! And untamed. 

The typical price of a home in today’s market is $395,900, and they typically sell in just 18 days. 

1. In addition to that, interest rates are climbing quickly. 

2.You might be tempted to make a hurried purchase in order to beat the growing chaos caused by these trends. 

However, take it easy! Believe me, all of you, it is well worth it to purchase your first property in the proper manner. 

That means looking for one that helps you achieve your financial objectives rather than working against you.

It’s possible that you’re thinking, “Yeah, that’s awesome, Sonja.” 

But I’ve never done this before, so please guide me through the process. Where should I start?

I’m pleased you asked! I compiled a list of 11 things you need to do before you buy your first home. 

Now, I’m aware that this seems like a lot of information. 

However, you want to be sure that whatever you do, you do it correctly! 

Put these suggestions into action, and buying your first house will be a source of joy, not stress.

Here are ten tips for first-time home buyers that will help you achieve your goal of becoming a homeowner with minimal stress and frustration along the way.

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Are you ready to own?

Being a first-time home buyer is a big step, one that can seem overwhelming if you aren’t prepared. 

While there are many factors to consider when buying your first home, it’s important to keep some key questions in mind before you begin your search: 

Are you ready to buy? Have you made a 20% down payment? What type of property are you looking for? Is now really the best time to purchase? 

If so, here are ten tips from real estate experts on how to become a successful first-time home buyer.

Where should you buy?

The majority of your house hunt should be in an area you love, because if you don’t love it, chances are that you won’t stay long. 

Although location is important, what may be more important is which part of town. If you want your home to appreciate in value, real estate experts suggest living near a university or a major hospital. 

Other things to look at when purchasing a home are job opportunities and whether people with higher incomes live nearby. 

A large income base helps a neighborhood thrive economically and supports neighborhood services and shops—plus it drives up property values.

What kind of mortgage should you get?/Choosing a Mortgage

One of your biggest decisions as a first-time home buyer is what kind of mortgage to get. 

That’s because different kinds of mortgages come with different kinds of repayment plans, meaning you may end up paying quite a bit more or less than you planned. 

Your real estate agent can help you explore all your options, but if possible, decide which type is best for you before starting house hunting. 

Also keep in mind that you don’t have to sign on with any particular bank: 

You can shop around and choose from multiple offers before making a decision. 

For example, our calculator shows that if you refinance your existing mortgage with a new loan at today’s rates, you could save $311 every month.

Should you rent or buy?

Most first-time home buyers decide to rent. There are several reasons for that, including: 

(1) Buying a home requires putting down a substantial amount of money as a down payment and may also require taking out a mortgage; and 

(2) Many renters who can afford to buy do not feel ready to take on such a big responsibility. 

If you have decided that buying is right for you, keep in mind that there is no universal formula to help you determine if it is time to rent or buy.

Can you afford a down payment?

Buying a home is a very long process. 

Not only do you have to find an appropriate property, but you also have to secure financing, sign paperwork and take care of inspections. 

That’s why it’s essential to prepare yourself financially before looking at homes. 

If you don’t already have an emergency fund saved up, build one now—even if it’s just $500—and use that money as your down payment. 

You’ll be able to get through any unexpected issues that come up during your home search and finalization process.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage

With a preapproval letter in hand, you’ll be able to narrow your search by focusing on homes within your budget. It also helps you buy a home faster.

Get pre-qualified by your lender. This shows sellers that you are serious/Get preapproved for a loan before house hunting.

 Getting preapproved is another quick process that takes about two weeks and usually involves filling out some paperwork and getting several hard inquiries run on your credit report. 

This can be slightly annoying, but it’s worth it to know exactly how much house you can afford before you start looking at properties. 

Your bank will review your financial history, including pay stubs and credit reports, to decide if they want to lend you money—and if so, how much they’re willing to loan. 

You might also have to submit proof of down payment savings or additional collateral like stocks or property in order to secure a loan.

Before you make an offer on a house, do your research. Estimate what repairs will cost and how much time it will take to complete them. 

Be honest with yourself about whether or not you can afford to live in a certain area or in a home of a certain size; looking at houses that are beyond your means is only setting yourself up for disappointment later on. 

Once you find a house, be prepared to make an offer quickly—competition is stiff! 

And after making an offer and doing everything you can to get it accepted, don’t drag out signing any paperwork. 

It’s tempting, but getting into a new place as quickly as possible is one of many ways that first-time home buyers can save themselves some stress—and money too!

Be sure your credit score is good

Before you start shopping, check your credit score. While some sellers might allow you to submit an offer without having a pre-approved mortgage, a low credit score could mean higher interest rates and other fees when it comes time to sign on the dotted line. 

Having a high score can also save you money on insurance premiums and will qualify you for better mortgage terms. Make sure to do your homework: 

Before visiting open houses or setting up appointments with real estate agents, research online about various neighborhoods that meet your needs.

Prepare an emergency fund before looking at homes

With so many financial details to consider, it’s important that home buyers have a sizable emergency fund on hand. Why? 

Experts agree an emergency fund is an important asset to accumulate prior to closing on a house because, let’s face it, things happen. 

A leaky roof or flood can lead to massive costs and unpaid property taxes can leave some buyers with monthly bills they aren’t prepared for. 

These are just two common examples of issues that could arise during one’s search—if you don’t already have an emergency fund in place, these unexpected costs can easily set back your timeline and derail your first home buying process.

Make a competitive offer (within your budget). and close the Deal

It’s not uncommon to win a bidding war and get yourself into a home you can’t really afford. 

That said, being more competitive is almost always better than less competitive. Negotiate your offer: 

It sounds simple, but some buyers don’t even consider negotiation until after they’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage. 

Although you probably won’t get as much of a price break as sellers would like you to believe, an expert who helps guide you through these negotiations (like me!) could help close that gap between what you can afford and what sellers are asking for—which will make it easier to move forward with a deal.

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