Buying a home is such an exciting milestone in a person’s life, one that should be filled with joy and feelings of stability and pride. However, more often than not first-time home buyers tend to have an extremely unpleasant experience, but why? Well the ugly truth of it is, it all starts with who you choose to be your agent. There are a LOT of licensed agents out there who are legally qualified to help you but buying a home is so much than that. We have compiled a quick list of things to help you get the best experience when taking that first step towards home ownership.
Step 1- Interview Your Agent
As we mentioned before, there are a lot of agents out there to choose from and that can be a tough decision to make but fret not – it is ok for you to conduct interviews! After all, this person will be working for you right? Choose someone who is professional, knowledgeable and attentive to your needs. Click here to read what questions to ask your potential agent during your interview process.
Step 2- Get Preapproved Before You Shop
In today’s fast passed market it just doesn’t make sense to go shopping before you know what you can or cannot afford. This will only set you up for heartache should you find that a home you LOVE is out of your budget or what if you find that you are selling yourself short? Simply put, know your numbers and communicate that to your agent. It’s also important to note, lenders are very much like agents, there are a ton of them out there. Choosing the right one is important. Interview them as well and find the one that is willing to go the extra mile, keeping your best interests as top priority. Moreover, the one who is willing to give you the most bang for your buck. Here’s a good place to start.
Step 3- Consider Your Entire Budget
As a first time home buyer, you may think that you can afford a mortgage equal to your current rent and while this may be true, make sure you are taking into account the extra expense of home ownership. Besides homeowners insurance, general maintenance, taxes, and landscaping you’ll be the one paying for the big repairs should a major appliance fail or a pipe clog. It’s good practice to have the money you might be saving by not renting, set aside in case those big expenses arise. We have a mortgage calculator to get you started but a lender is the only one who can truly give you the most accurate information.
Step 4- Don’t Be Dazzled or Discouraged By Decor
It’s always more pleasant walking into a home that has been staged or has a cozy decorum. It helps us get that HOME feeling we are searching for but don’t let it fool you. Look at the bones of the house, the layout, is it what is right for you and your needs? What will your furniture look like in the living space? Will it fit? Does it even match? What about if the home looks dated or the paint isn’t to your tastes? If the home is perfect in every other way, don’t miss out on your dream when a simple paint project can take care of that. Always keep your wish list in the forefront of your mind while previewing every home.
Step 5- Prepare For Rejection But Expect The Best
Depending on what the market is doing in the area that you are shopping in, there may be multiple qualified buyers putting in an offer on the very same house you are. This is where knowing your numbers and having the right agent means the most. While you can’t win them all, it’s important to know your highest and best offer in these situations and to have an agent that is on top of what your desired neighborhood’s market is doing. For those occasions where you do lose the battle, don’t be discouraged. This happens often in a healthy market and the right agent will be at your side ready to get your offer in on your backup list. The right house for you is out there so don’t give up.
Step 6- Do Your Part
Having an accepted offer on the perfect home is just the beginning. Too often deals fall through or get delayed because the buyer’s become unresponsive during their transaction. No matter how excited you are about your new home, keep in mind that your lender and your agent still need you. They will be asking for all sorts of information from you and they need it in a timely manner. The more cooperative you are the smoother your experience will be. Remember, you are a team! Ask them questions if you feel overwhelmed, after all, they are on your side.
Long story short do your research and surround yourself with knowledgeable professionals who are dedicated to your individual needs. Click here to meet our team if you’re ready to start the home buying process.