Advice for First-Time Buyers
* Pre-Qualification: Meet with your Realtor to discuss options and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
* Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved for a mortgage. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With a Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious, qualified buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
* List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
* Representation by a Professional: HIRE your own real estate agent, one who is working to represent your best interest.
* Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
* Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
* Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
* Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:
1. Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please email me or call us directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.