10 Tips Every First Time Homebuyer Should Know
Buying a home can be one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime! There are some things you should consider when buying a home. Certainly, buying a home can be a stressful process, but it doesn't have to be! Below are 10 tips on things to know before, during, and after purchasing.
1.) SAVE MONEY: It is really a smart idea to save some money for upcoming fees. Some common fees to be expected are: inspections, closing costs, down-payment, and earnest money. There are some grants out there for first time homebuyers that can cover part of your closing costs or down-payment. Contact me for some other ways we can try to save you money that you'll have to bring out of pocket to closing. Most people assume you have to put 20% down always. That is not always the case. Most of the time first time homebuyers can get approved for a loan that is a very small amount down, so you're not using your whole savings account to purchase a home!
2.) KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE: Your credit score plays a big part in buying a home. It can determine your interest rate and approval of a loan.
3.) LOOK FOR THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT: It is important to have a real estate agent by your side to help guide you through the process. They can show you homes you're interested in, help you with any questions you may have, help with negotiations, and protect you! I would LOVE to be the real estate agent to help you!
4.) THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE: Typically a first time home buyer is in their home for 3-5 years. However, that is not ALWAYS the case. It is smart to think about the future when buying your first home. Are you planning on getting married or having kids soon? Maybe you'll need a little extra room a couple years down the road, then you do currently. It is also very smart to think about the resale value the home has. You may not think you're ever going to sell... but 9/10 that's not the case. Will someone LOVE that home as much as you do right now?
5.) CHOOSE THE RIGHT NEIGHBORHOOD: I always like to tell people, you may LOVE the home, but not the neighborhood. This is a big determining factor in resale as well. Would you walk around at night in this neighborhood and still love the neighborhood? Always something smart to think about.
6.) ADDITIONAL COSTS: Besides the upfront costs, you may love a home, but will it end up costing you more? Some more costs to think about, are:
--- Property taxes
--- Mortgage Insurance
--- Homeowners Insurance
--- Utility Bills
Can you afford all of this on the home you love? A great big 2 story home may end up being more money to heat and cool, then a smaller ranch style home.
7.) SHOP FOR INSURANCE: You don't have to just call one insurance agency when signing up for insurance on your home. It is ALWAYS really smart to shop around. Call a few local places before committing to one specific insurance company. One may be able to get you a better deal then another.
8.) HOME INSPECTIONS: A home inspection is not a requirement of a loan. However, when I bought my first home, my realtor did not urge me to do inspections. I look back now and wished I would have. There was nothing wrong with the home when living there, but there could have very well been a HUGE issue with the home, and I would have been required to fix it all. A home inspection protects you from buying a home that may have some significant issues.
9.) GET APPROVED BEFORE LOOKING: Some buyers will shop around before getting approved for a loan. What you may think you're able to buy, may not be what you'll actually get approved for. You may start looking and fall in love with a home that is way over your actual price range.
10.) BE PATIENT: After you get an accepted offer on a home, it seems like FOREVER until you get to move in. There is a lot of, "behind the scenes", stuff happening that the realtors and lenders are taking care of. It may seem like nothing is going on, why aren't we just able to close, or get into the home?! Trust the process. Most banks require 45-60 days for a closing to happen. So just expect that once the offer is accepted, it will be approximately 45-60 days before you're able to move into the home.
I hope this helped to answer any questions and sets you up for success, for your first time home buying process. Keep ME in mind for all your real estate needs. A referral is the BEST compliment I can receive.
~ Making Realty a Reality ~
I look forward to helping you with your home purchase.
CENTURY 21 Preferred
Licensed Realtor in the State of Iowa