5 Tips For First Time Buyers

Most first time home buyers are in their early 30’s when they decide to buy.  That’s a young age to make such a huge financial decision. Of course, it’s also a stressful decision no matter how old you are.

How can you reduce the stress of buying a home for the first time? Here’s a few things to consider.

How Much Home Can You Afford?
First you need to decide how much of a home you can afford before you start looking for a home. You can use an online mortgage calculator to find out the maximum amount you can afford to pay on a mortgage.  This will be based on the price of the home after the down payment for a 30 year mortgage.

An even better way to pin down how much you can afford is to work with a loan officer to help you come up with an amount. They have more detailed access to information such as how much the bank can loan you and what the interest rate will be.

What Can’t You Live Without In a Home?
Before the home search begins, you need to sit down and figure out what really matters to you in a home. And not just in the home itself, but the location.  Also consider what would make you miserable. Then put it all down in a list of items that are non-negotiable.

After you start looking at homes, then you should take another look at your list and adjust it as you know more about the homes that are available.

Use an Experienced Local Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent can make all the difference when buying a home. Try to get a referral from friends or relatives who live in the area you want to move to. If that’s not an option, you can check agent reviews online for local real estate agents.

A good real estate agent knows the area and listens to your needs. In many cases, a great agent will have repeat clients over the years. Look for an agent who has reviews that reflect this. They will also be able to connect you to loan officer and real estate attorneys, along with other needed professionals.

Compare Prices
You should look at homes in the area that are comparable to get an idea of what they’re selling for.

You can easily compare homes in the area you plan to move to using tools such as our Advanced Home Search feature.

Ask Your Real Estate Agent About Closing Costs
Closing costs can vary widely. These costs usually include hiring an attorney to look over the buyer seller agreement, along with a home appraiser to inspect the home before the sale. A good real estate agent will be happy to help you determine closing costs.