7 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
First-time buyers make up around a third of all homebuyers. Still, even though you’re not alone if you’re in this position, buying a home can be extremely daunting for anyone!
If you’re around to embark on the journey of buying your very first home, there are some things you should bear in mind.
Here are seven tips for first-time homebuyers to remember.
Don’t Skip Preapproval
If you’re not quite sure what preapproval is, it’s important to learn as it can take some of the stress of first-time homebuyers!
Although you might want to jump straight into the most exciting part of buying a home — which is the search — getting preapproval is important. It’s a document from a mortgage lender that states the loan amount they’ll be willing to approve for you.
This can help you focus on a realistic budget while you search for your house. It’s also important because you don’t want to find your dream house later only to be told that the lender won’t approve you for that mortgage amount.
Focus on Your Credit Score
If your credit score is already good, one of the best first-time homebuyer tips is to maintain that in the run-up to buying a home. If it needs some work, do it before you commit to the search.
The reason for this is that your credit score is very important to lenders.
If you have a high balance on your credit cards, now is the time to focus on paying them off before you look for a home. Don’t open any new lines of credit right before contacting a lender, as your credit report will take a hit due to the hard inquiries.
Just be very conscious, as your score has never been more important than now.
Check out this home buyer website if you have struggled with things like this.
Find a Good Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent should provide great first-time homebuyer advice as well as show you houses that are within your budget and fulfill your desires. It’s important to communicate with them well so they don’t waste your time showing you houses that you would never be interested in.
Never rely on the seller’s realtor, who will work for their interests only. Hire your own and make sure you can depend on them to do what’s right for you and help you secure the right house.
Account for Closing Costs
As well as the down payment, there are a number of closing costs you need to remember when you’re going through this process. Don’t forget them, as they might then come as a shock!
- Inspection fees
- Appraisal fees
- Potential repairs
- A negotiated down payment
- Escrow fees
Make sure you have enough money to cover these things. If you only account for what you think the closing cost will be in terms of a mortgage payment, you might struggle to cover the others.
Consider Needs and Wants
Needs and wants are very different when it comes to a house, and it’s important to have yours set.
Are there certain things you can’t live without in a home? A good school zone, a certain number of bathrooms or bedrooms, etc., may all be things that are non-negotiable to you. Having these in place saves you from wasting time viewing houses that don’t have any of these things.
Then you may have other things you desire but aren’t necessary, such as a swimming pool or a balcony. It helps direct you where to look and give you an idea of which houses you might want, but you should remember to be flexible with these.
It’s important to be realistic without compromising what you actually need in a house.
Check Out the Neighborhood
Considering putting an offer in on a home? Check out the neighborhood. Even just check out the neighborhoods of places that you’re looking.
It can really help you get an idea of if you’d like to live there. For example, if you have a dog, you might want to ensure there are sidewalks and a dog park nearby.
You may think you love a house but then walk the neighborhood and realize you don’t feel safe.
Your surroundings are as important as the house itself.
Bring a Friend
Buying a house on your own? It might be a good idea to bring a friend.
First-time homebuyers often make the mistake of going to viewings themselves and getting caught up in the excitement. It can very much help to bring someone with you to have a more critical and neutral eye, pointing out the things you may not see and forcing you to consider them.
Remember, a home is a huge investment, so it’s essential you do as much investigation as you possibly can into the place. Having a friend or family member to help with this can be huge.
Remember These Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
Remembering these tips for first-time homebuyers can save you from making a lot of mistakes. If it’s your first time going through this process, you may not be sure what to expect and may not be sure how to handle situations that pop up.
The best things you can do are to get preapproval, get a good realtor, and bring someone with you to house viewings. This will help quicken your search and get you in your ideal home as soon as possible.
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