If you’re a first-time homebuyer you may feel overwhelmed with information related to your first home purchase. It can be a stressful time, and to compound this, you are constantly reminding yourself not to make a hasty, or worse, a mistaken decision. To help ease your mind a bit, below are several tips to consider before your home buying experience begins. Of course, if you want to find out more information below you are more than welcome to contact me!
- Money – Of course this is THE most important 1st step. You want to verify what you are pre-approved for and have your pre-approval letter ready. If you are unsure of the documents you need, I would be happy to put you in contact with a lender to start your homebuying journey.
- Insurance – Most home buyers are under the impression this is something to consider later in the purchasing lifecycle. However, it’s a good idea to begin this early so you know the general type of property you will be purchasing, and compare rates.
- Search Sites – You want to begin obtaining an idea of what you are specifically looking for by looking at such sites as Zillow, Redfin, among others. A cool app is by Realtor.com. This app immediately shows you nearby homes for sale. This app is available for both iOS and Android. If you want faster alerts of listings, that are faster than Zillow, and others then you can sign-up on the homepage to be alerted!
- Open Houses – Go to a couple of Open Houses. This is a great way to learn about the property market your seeking. An additional tip is to try to go when there’s less foot traffic because you want to know about road noise or floor/carpet stains you normally wouldn’t notice when others are present. If you want to find out about any current open houses don’t hesitate to contact me.
- Check out the Neighborhood – Remember when you buy a home, you’re buying a package. The neighbors come with the package. Take some time to scout the general surroundings, find out if there are loud pets, etc.
- Be Open-Minded, but Don’t be Intimidated – When purchasing a home it’s not going to only require compromise from the seller, but as well as from the buyer. Of course, don’t be pushed into a home you’re not completely sold on. Many 1st time homebuyers sometimes are hesitant to push for what they want because they’re unfamiliar with the complete process, including how negotiations work. Don’t hesitate to ask questions!
- Fixtures – If you’re unsure what fixtures are, this includes anything that is permanently attached to the property (i.e. lights, faucets, etc.). This doesn’t include appliances (i.e. washer, dryer, refrigerator, hot tubs, etc.). If you want any of the appliances, make sure its written into the contract.
- Inspections – Invest in them, if necessary. It’s going to be your home, so anything above and beyond the required inspections, if you want a specific one, then invest in it. You want peace of mind.
- Writing an Offer – When you are ready to write an offer, make sure you review comparable sales, and you determine what is fair regarding price and terms. Of course having the right agent to guide you helps.
- Negotiations – This may be difficult to take, but if you strategically negotiate by letting the other side win, you are the one who wins! Here’s an example, always ask for more than you expect, and when the seller counters your offer they will more than likely submit an offer that’s aligned with what you truly want! For other negotiation tips sign-up for our newsletter on the homepage.
- Closing Costs – When getting your finances in order to purchase, always make sure you include the closing costs. This would include any taxes, escrow fees, and pre-paid interest. Many 1st-time homebuyers are caught off guard with these expenses. Make sure you ask your agent for complete lists of expenses.
- Closing – When you close the paperwork, it doesn’t necessarily you mean you receive the keys immediately. You want to verify when you will receive the keys so you can begin your moving activities.
One More Tip
Last, but not least, partnering the right agent is important. Your agent is your partner. It’s important they not only have real estate knowledge, and expertise, but truly understand what is important to you when purchasing your 1st home. A little EQ helps You don’t want an agent to sell you a home because the agency has it in their inventory.
Hopefully, the above tips help you as begin your search. If your first-time homebuyer, and want to find out more, please contact me. You can also call me directly at 818.259.0060 or 661.993.3400.