Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
Buying a home for the first time can be incredibly overwhelming. Some homebuyers are so confused by the process that they mistakenly buy the first home that they can afford. Here are some tips and things to know to make the first-time home buying experience easier.
Before You Buy a Home
You need to figure out how much mortgage you qualify for and how much home you can actually afford. Factors that affect your mortgage loan include your income and how much debt you have. It is possible to get a loan for more than you can afford, so consider the down payment, monthly mortgage payment, and home improvement costs.
Find a reputable real estate agent to help you find and view houses that are in your budget. They can also help you throughout the purchase process by making an offer on your behalf, filling out the paperwork and more.
Be sure you’re paying a fair price and have completed a reasonable level of market research. Ask your realtor to show you comparables with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). Do not look at asking prices, but rather closed transactions. Pay attention to the property taxes, perhaps even go so far as to obtain an insurance quote for the home, and make certain the numbers work for you.
Buying a Home
Finding a home can be a challenge, so be sure to take advantage of all avenues such as online listings, open houses and neighborhood drives. Once you have found and decided on a house that you love, consider all of your financing options, including ones specifically for first time homebuyers. Your agent can negotiate for you and make an offer. Be sure to get a home inspection to assess the condition of the house even if it appears to be in excellent shape.
After You Close on Your Home
If the seller accepts your offer, it is time to seal the deal. There is a good amount of paperwork involved in the closing of a home, and your real estate agent will make sure you sign everything. You will have to consider closing costs and other things to pay for. Along with a home appraisal, you will need to pay for a title search, notary fee, recording fee, etc. It is a good idea to make copies of all of your closing documents, as they are very important pieces of paper. Once you have copies of everything, keep the originals in a safe place like a safe deposit box.