First time buyer tips
- Know your budget – It’s important that you create a budget and come up with a realistic payment that you can afford. When calculating this amount, you’ll want to determine your maximum payment. This is your no compromise zone which means based on your financials you can’t afford anything over _______ (You have to come up with this number). Lenders can often approve you for more but you don’t want to get caught in a trap of buying too much house. Once you set that no compromise zone we can translate into the purchase price of your next home. Use our payment calculator to see for yourself how much home you can afford.
- Know your area –Decide what is most important to you whether its school district, crime rate, home values, neighbors, etc. Begin to narrow down your area and match it to your preferred price range. For example, if average prices in the area you select are way over your budget, you may need to come up with some alternative areas that will satisfy what you are looking for. Once you become familiar with your target area you’ll know a good deal when you see it.
- Make your top 10 list – Put down the needs your family has such as bedroom count, bath count, square footage, storage space, garage, granite counter tops, floors, etc. Many of these are items that can be easily updated so determine what’s most important on your list and come up with your top 10. If the home meets all 10 priorities then you can usually deal with the other items that are not on the top 10.
- Always use an agent – Every home that is on the MLS or multiple listing service is represented by a real estate broker who has a contractual obligation to serve the best interests of the seller, not the buyer. As a buyer you are entitled to the same representation. A buyer’s agent is an expert in the real estate market who can ensure your interests are protected in the transaction.
- Always do an inspection – Whether a new home, or an existing home, you always want to make sure to do an inspection. Inspectors are regulated by law, and they have certain criteria they must check in the home to make sure that you are buying a good product and that nothing is out of place. They have one obligation, to report their findings honestly without bias.