The following suggestions will help the First-time Home Buyer to make the most of the market:
Find a Real Estate Consultant. The First thing to do is seek out the free advice of a Realtor. You will want to find just one Realtor that can advise you and represent your best interests. You will want a Realtor who is willing to answer questions and educate you on the process. It is not uncommon to sign a Buyer Broker Agreement with an experienced committed Realtor. The agreement outlines the agents' responsibilities, as well as the buyers'. Figure out what is the best way to communicate--be it email, phone, or text.
Discuss Affordability. One of the first people you should talk to is a lender or mortgage broker. They can help you see where you are and where you need to be. How much have you saved for a down payment? How much can you budget to spend each month? Will you need to factor mortgage insurance into their monthly payments? What can you expect to pay in property taxes? Working through questions up front can help you get a better handle on what you can truly afford. Also do not make any large purchases on credit until after the close of escrow to avoid changes in your credit scores.
Discuss Home Ownership Goals. What are your goals and why do you want to buy? How long do you plan on staying in the home? What are your needs in the future? When you first start it is easy to look for your dream home and when you are first entering the market you may need to lower your expectations. Remember that you need to just get on the bus and work your way up as your income improves and you grow your equity.
Match Your Expectations to Your Price Range. Many first-timer home buyers live in small apartments, but when buying will not settle for anything but a house. Understanding that you are at an entry point in the marketplace, and that you are not likely to get all the bells and whistles with your first home in a price range that you can comfortably afford.
Familiarize Yourself with Starter Home Inventory. Begin looking at your market with a fresh eye toward affordable entry-level homes, including properties that may not have been considered before. Falling prices have opened up some areas that have been out of reach to first-time buyers for years. Knowing the inventory inside out will help your expectations as to the type and condition of homes that fit your price range. Once you have a good feel for the homes in your price range, then you are ready to buy.
These are the keys to a successful First Time Home Buyer purchase.
ABR, CRS, e-Pro, GRI, SFR
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage