How to be a Smart First Time Home Buyer
Being a first-time home buyer can be an incredibly scary thing. However, buying a home for the first time is also one of the most exciting things you’ll ever get to do! Don’t let the idea of purchasing a home get you down. Instead, use these do’s and don’ts to avoid common mistakes and have a home-run first purchase!
Whether you’re searching for a perfect urban dream home or your own suburban oasis, let a Realtor help. They are here to make your life easier. We’ve got an entire team ready to help you, but feel free to use one of our many resources to help you find the right fit as a first-time home buyer.
Here we list the top 5 do’s and don’ts of buying your first home:
1. Find an awesome real estate agent.
There are thousands of real estate agents in your metropolitan area, so don’t quit until you have found the right one for your style! You can use our blog as a starting point to find that special someone who can lead you through the home buying process (link to).
2. Get pre-approved.
There is almost nothing sweeter to a seller than a pre-approval. It tells them that you mean business and you’re ready to put in an offer. Find a mortgage broker that you enjoy working with and that has great rates. They will help you begin the ridiculous amount of paperwork to get you there before even looking at houses; it can take weeks to get pre-approved, depending on how easy it is to find the necessary paperwork, so start as soon as possible.
3. Only look within your budget.
While some things are negotiable, others are simply not in your price range. Owning a home can be expensive as a first time home buyer – so save room in your budget for the unexpected repairs you may face. Sticking to or going under your budget is the best thing you can do for your bank account (and your sanity).
4. Be flexible.
That wishlist you have? Make sure you keep it as that – a wishlist. Be flexible when the time comes and your Realtor has an awesome house to show you that doesn’t have the fenced-in backyard you’re looking for. While it may be a turnoff at first, it’s not something you couldn’t add later. Things like the number of bedrooms, foundation, and neighborhood are unchangeable.
5. Ask for the opinion of others.
Your family, friends, coworkers – ask what they think of your potential first home. This decision shouldn’t be taken lightly or made alone! Just keep in mind that everyone has different preferences, and ultimately you are the only one who can make the final choice.
1. Be too emotional.
Yes, this is your first home purchase. Yes, it’s a huge deal. But this isn’t the time to let your emotions get in the way of you making a good decision! Just because you are in love with the entryway of the 100+-year-old house in a neighborhood you love, doesn’t mean the foundation issues should be overlooked. Be wise!
2. Think you’ll be in your first home forever.
Most people who are buying a home for the first time do not think they’ll be in it forever, and you shouldn’t either! Whether your family outgrows it or your tastes change over the years, you will probably live in another home at some point in your life. If you avoid thinking of forever and look instead to the next 5-15 years, you will be less emotional and more direct in your overall assessment.
3. Skip the pre-approval process.
This process allows your finances to be examined by an expert so you know what you can afford. This step also makes your life easier when you put in an offer. The buyer will know you are serious about this purchase. It’s a hassle to get pre-approval, but in the long run, it will save you time and anxiety waiting for your mortgage application to get approved.
4. Forget about hidden costs.
Closing costs, moving expenses, decorating – these are all costs that will not be included in your mortgage. Do not forget to include them when calculating how much you need to save to make this home purchase happen.
5. Try to do everything on your own.
Your Realtor is here to help you in any way possible. They are the experts and are happy to give you their wealth of knowledge – take advantage of this! Ask them about mortgage lenders and moving companies. We guarantee they have a list for you! Research the surrounding area and school districts with your family! Everyone wants to see you succeed!
For more helpful real estate tips and more, visit our blog!
Mark Spain Real Estate is grateful to serve all of Metro Atlanta and Athens in Georgia, Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville in Florida, and Nashville in Tennessee!