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Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Most homebuyers start the process anxious, excited, nervous, and some are downright terrified. It’s natural. A home is the largest and most expensive purchase that most people will make in a lifetime. It can either turn out to be a complete financial disaster or a smart long-term investment.

The person standing between it being a huge financial mistake or a valuable asset is you, the agent. Still, the agent can only help as much as the buyer allows. As vital as having an experienced agent by their side is, there are things that first-time homebuyers have to do.

Here is a list of tips to help first-time homebuyers help you the agent do the best job that you can do. When you are approached by a first-time homebuyer, share this list with them to help them get off on the right foot.

  • Tell Your Agent Everything: You don’t want any surprises; neither does your agent. Let them know upfront about any financial issues on your credit report. Be as detailed as possible about your goals and be flexible.
  • Make Lists: Write out a list of the things that you want and a list of the things that you need in a new home. Share this list with your agent so that they can better help find what you are looking for. Update or add to your list as you think of things and share those changes with your agent.
  • Keep Notes: Your agent is going to keep solid records of the homes that you see. However you should also keep your own notes as you go to open houses. After each home, share what you liked and what you didn’t like with your agent. That will help him or her narrow the search down for you.
  • Organize Your Documents: Keep your documents organized and all in one place. If you have a pre-approval letter, keep that with you on house hunts in case you decide to make an offer. Any documents that you will need like inspection reports or appraisals should be readily available as you search for homes.
  • Stay Positive: Maybe the most important tip for first-time homebuyers is to stay positive. Even after you have found the home that you want, made an offer, and had it accepted, the process of closing the deal can sometimes take longer than you’d like. Stay positive. If you’ve looked at several houses and still haven’t found what you want, stay calm. Trust your agent to get it right for you.

Speaking with an Agent

An agent for first-time homebuyers is an invaluable asset. They can help you navigate the process when you are unsure of what to do next. You could call and speak with an agent if you have general questions. However, if you are ready to seriously start shopping for a home, you need an agent now. Feel free to contact us with your specific questions.

Buying a house for the first time can be both exciting and overwhelming. There is a certain beauty behind owning something that requires a hefty investment. Then again, the home-buying process involves many steps, some of which can be quite tedious. That said, the tendency for first-time home buyers to make potentially costly mistakes can be quite high, especially if done solo.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that first-time buyers make, as well as tips on how to avoid them:

Mistake: Not getting pre-approved for a loan

Pre-approval for a mortgage lets you know the amount of money that you can borrow from a lender, allowing you to stay on budget when looking at properties.

Moreover, getting pre-approved for a mortgage also gives you a leg up over the competition when it comes to making an offer on a house you want to buy. This shows sellers that you are serious about purchasing the property.

Not getting a pre-approval opens you to the risk of going over your budget. Moreover, you could lose your leverage when making an offer for a house begins

Solution: Find a lender or bank who can give you a fully underwritten mortgage or loan pre-approval before you start your search for a home.

Mistake: Not checking credit reports

Banks and lenders will scrutinize your credit reports and other important financial documents to see if you qualify for certain loans and interest rates.

Your credit report should summarize the calculations and circumstances that qualified you for a mortgage. If there are errors here that go unchecked, these could impact your chances for loan approval or result in rates and terms that are higher than you deserve.

Solution: You can get a free credit report on a yearly basis from any of the three national credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. Should there be errors in the report they generate, you won’t have any problem raising these to them for reevaluation.

Not looking into first-time home buyer assistance programs

Given the steep prices of properties these days, many first-time buyers opt to delay their purchase in the hope that market trends would turn in their favor at some future time. But with the real estate market in constant flux plus the looming rise in interest rates by the Feds, putting off home-buying plans might end up to not being able to buy a home at all.

Solution: Instead of delaying your search for a home, take advantage of the government’s loan and housing programs such as those from the Department of Housing And Urban Development, the Federal Housing Administration, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These housing loans have relaxed eligibility requirements and offer relatively low costs.

Not working with a qualified real estate agent

One of the biggest mistakes that first-time home buyers can make is to treat the home-buying process as a DIY project with the intention to save on commission fees.

While getting an agent to help you in getting your first home is purely optional, the expertise, knowledge, and experience they bring to the table will prove to be invaluable to you to ensure the highest chances of getting the home you deserve under the best terms possible.

Solution: Take the time to screen real estate agents before starting your home search. Make sure to get one who knows the local real estate market well, has years of experience in the industry, and will always have your best interests in mind.

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