First-time buyers make up more than 30% of the buyer’s market here in the US so if you’re in that category and starting out on your search here are five ways you can make sure you don’t get caught out and make any costly mistakes.
1) Get pre-approved
You might have crunched the numbers and think you know what you can afford but until you are approved for the loan, you will never know for sure what you can afford.
Without that pre-approved letter, you will also struggle to be taken seriously as a buyer, especially in the current climate where competition for every property is fierce.
So make sure you’re ready to act the minute you find your dream home and get pre-approved. It will save time and potential heartache in the future.
Knowing what you can afford will also stop you wasting time looking at properties outside of your price range.
2) Don’t fall in love too quickly
Buying your first home is an exciting time. It can be the first time you are planning to move in with your partner or finally see you move out from living with your parents, so it’s easy to get carried away.
The problem is that emotions will be running high and you could find yourself falling in love with every property you see just because you can’t wait to move.
Getting emotionally attached can not only be expensive but also draining as you put so much pressure on getting the dream property that you get carried away and end up paying over the odds.
It’s worth remembering that there will always be another property perfect for you or at least has the potential for you to make it perfect, so relax and don’t panic.
3) You don’t have to do it all yourself
With properties all listed online and some even offering a guided tour without leaving your home it’s easy to think you can go it alone.
By all means do your research, to narrow down the search, but this is all new to you and not something you are an expert in – but we know a few people who are
Using a real estate agent is not only about giving you peace of mind, but they can also help secure the best price and make the whole process run smoothly.
4) Read everything!
There can be lots of paperwork when it comes to buying a house, and we’re all guilty of putting things in a ‘safe place’ to read later and never actually getting round to it, but it is essential in this case.
Some homes come with conditions, restrictions or deeds and knowing what they are, prevents problems further down the line.
Most of the restrictions are all for the good of the residents of a community and are there to make sure properties keep their value, and the area remains popular, but this can be a problem if you have bold plans for your new home.
So, read the paperwork and ask your realtor any questions you might have, that way there won’t be any nasty surprises.
5) Have some money in reserve
We have already debunked the myth about down payments, but that doesn’t mean you should take your financial commitments any more lightly.
Granted, you won’t need a 20% down payment, and you’ll already know that if you’re pre-approved, but you will need money left over in the bank for those expensive added extras.
As well as the moving costs there’s furniture, appliances, supplies and the basics that you have probably never had to buy before but it doesn’t stop there.
A lot of people forget about the closing costs, which usually cost between 2-5% of your home’s price, and the property taxes, which can be a nasty surprise.
There’s also a lot to be said for a rainy day fund, or a leaky roof fund. You never know when something is going to go wrong and having some money set aside will go a long way to reducing stress levels should disaster strike.
At The Homer Group, we’re here to help you every step of the way, when it comes to buying a new home, we can even advise you on neighborhoods and schools and put you in touch with our recommended tradesmen.
Call us now on 940-584-0800