Tips for Buying Your First Home
Purchasing your first home can be a nerve-wracking experience if you don’t have people around you to guide your steps. There’s a steep learning curve, but it is possible to get a great deal without having to deal with too many unforeseen issues if you do your homework.
Here are 5 tips for buying your first home:
1. Hire a real estate agent
While you do have the option of purchasing a home without hiring an agent, you really shouldn’t be doing that if you are a first-time buyer. The reality is, there are many things a home purchase requires that you likely aren’t familiar with. A good agent will guide you through the process and ensure you aren’t taken advantage of.
Benefits of hiring an agent include:
- Agents get first access to new listings on the market
- Your agent will be happy to drive you around when you tour homes
- An agent is better at spotting overpriced or underpriced listings
- Your agent can tour homes for you
2. Look for a right home
Finding the right home for you and your family members can be a lot more tiring than it seems at first glance. It typically involves lots of tours to different properties, which can leave you feeling drained. It’s often best to schedule less than five homes when you’re out and about touring houses.
An easy way to make your search easier is by figuring out where you want to live, then researching homes in the area online. Once you find a few houses that meet your needs and budget, schedule tours with property managers.
3. Find a lender
It’s often a good idea to get pre-approved for a loan during the early stages of your house search. That way, you know exactly what your buying power is. It also gives you more credibility with the seller since some property owners won’t even consider an offer if the buyer can’t prove his/her ability to get a loan for that amount.
FHA loans are popular with first-time home buyers thanks to the lower down payment requirement compared to conventional loans. You can use a mortgage calculator to find out what your monthly payments will be.
4. Get a deal
When making an offer, it’s best to take a look at the prices that similar homes in the area have sold for. That will give you a better idea of what you should be paying. You might be able to get a better deal if the seller is looking for a quick sale, or you might have to pay more if there are other buyers interested in the property.
5. Get the home inspected
Depending on the state you live, you might be able to get a home inspection before making an offer. In states where you have to make an offer first, a home inspection gives you the right to terminate the contract if you find something you don’t like.
You can also ask the seller to make repairs if something comes up. The seller isn’t obligated to perform these repairs by law, but many will make the suggested repairs just to save the deal.