Becoming a homeowner is the dream for many people. You work hard your whole life and get rewarded with a place to call your own.
While it sometimes seems like becoming a homeowner is less common than before, that doesn’t mean many people aren’t taking the leap to buy their homes. Last year alone saw 31% of all homebuyers as first-time buyers. But with homes not lasting long on the market, some people have problems finding the home of their dreams.
That’s why it’s important to know what to expect when you’re a first-time buyer. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know when you’re buying a house.
Don’t Start the Process Without a Mortgage
While some people can buy houses for cash, the chances are good that you won’t go down that route. The majority of homebuyers get mortgages to help people for their homes. Even people who have the cash to buy without a mortgage get one since they can use their money for other investments.
If you plan to use a real estate agent, then this is even more important. Some agents won’t start working with you until you qualify for your loan.
Your 15 or 30 year mortgage will tell you how much home you can afford. The bank will look at your current income and projected income in the future. Once they do their calculations, they’ll give you a maximum amount you can spend on a home and what rates you can expect.
You’ll also get advice on the home buying process when hiring a mortgage broker to help get financing set up for the buy. This information will help you in narrowing down your choices for a home. You won’t waste any time looking into homes that your mortgage won’t cover.
Determine Your Must-Have Home Features
If you’re like most people, you have a great idea about the type of home you want. Owning a home has been a long-time dream, so you know everything you want included to make your dream a reality.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to find a home that meets those expectations. The buying market can get competitive. If you enter at one of those times, the homes you like can quickly go off the market.
That’s why it’s critical to figure out what home features are most important to you. Make a list detailing those features and focus on them during your home search.
Keep in mind that you can likely improve your home to include the things missing later. Doing this will ensure you can get a home that meets expectations and gives you a way to enhance your home’s value in the future.
Use a Real Estate Agent
A lot goes into buying a property that many people don’t see when they look at things for the first time. Buying a property requires a lot of attention to detail, paperwork, and research. In many cases, new home buyers may not have the energy to do everything themselves.
That’s where a real estate agent helps. You don’t want to spend the whole time stressed out when you’re buying your first home. An agent will take away a lot of the heavy lifting for you.
They’ll start by looking at your needs and filtering all the homes on the market to ones that meet your specifications. This means you’ll spend your time looking at homes that you’re more likely to buy.
A real estate agent can also help with the paperwork. You’ll need to fill out many forms when you make an offer and sign a deal. An agent can explain everything to you to ensure you’re fully informed about what’s going on.
Don’t Forget a Home Inspection
If this is your first time buying a home, the chances are good that you don’t want to buy a fixer-upper. While you can get these homes at a discount, there’s a lot of time and money that goes into making them presentable again.
That’s why it’s critical to look for homes that have minimal problems. The problem is that all of a home’s issues aren’t always disclosed by the home seller when they put their homes up for sale.
This can happen because of a couple of reasons. The first is the homeowner doesn’t know about the problems. They believe their home is fine as is and put their house up for sale as a result.
Other homeowners aren’t that innocent. They’re well aware of issues, and hope buyers won’t make a big deal about the problems.
In either case, you want to try and get the homeowner to repair significant issues with the home. Doing this will take negotiation in some cases, so be prepared to make your case for repairs.
Prepare to Negotiate Price
The price a seller asks for a home isn’t always the price it sells for. In many cases, sellers price their homes above what they’re willing to take to try and get the most money for their homes.
That means there’s room to negotiate the price of a home. Don’t be afraid to offer lower than the asking amount when you make an offer on the house. In the worst-case scenario, the seller will reject your offer.
In other cases, sellers will come down on price and will meet you somewhere in the middle. You won’t know how low of a price you can get until you ask.
This process is also where a real estate agent is handy. Your agent can negotiate on your behalf and get you a great deal.
Do Your Research When You’re a First-Time Buyer
A lot goes into the home buying process, and the chances are good that you won’t know everything when you’re a first-time buyer. Use the advice above to get through the buying process easier and without any issues. When you do the work to prepare for the process, you’ll simplify the process of finding your first home.
Are you interested in learning a few home improvement tips that will help you get your new home in shape? Head back to the blog to learn how to make it happen.