The decision to purchase any type of property is an obligation. One that comes with maturity and growth. However, there is a difference to be made between buying simple things like a blender or car and buying your first home. To be frank, first-time home buyers have a serious task ahead of them, one that requires focus and research. But above all else, one that requires a serious financial and temporal investment to get that home they have their mind set on. So, today we will go ahead and examine the process of buying that home and how best to approach it.
First-time home buyers are faced with several tasks before they are able to purchase a home.
Considerations before buying that first home
What type of home suits your particular wishes? What are the features you are looking for in that first home? What type of financial programs are out there for first-time home buyers? These are all valid questions that you want to answer before you even begin the search for real estate. Why is this? Because you have to sit down and think through every aspect of your need for a new home. Only then will you have a clear picture of the end game.
You will know where to draw lines and when to fold, what is too much of an investment, when you can do better etc. While it’s good to retain some flexibility, as first-time home buyers, we deserve to buy a home that fits our needs and wants as much as possible. After all, this is not just a bar of chocolate we’re purchasing here – it’s an entire home. This might easily be the purchase of a lifetime for anyone. So, neighborhood and size of the home set aside, you should also accommodate all those small details and ideas you planned for.
Running a balanced financial situation is a must here
There are plenty of realtors that will refuse to work without a clear budget definition. So, make sure that your finances are in check and that your agent knows how high you are willing to go in terms of price. Remember that if you feel that your current financial situation does not really win you much in the current housing market, there are solutions. One of the more popular solutions would be first-time home buyers’ programs.
In most states, all you really need is a good credit, regular payments of your bills and a maximum “debt to income” of 43%. Consider the option of mortgage and make sure to have all the paperwork ready and pre-approved if you decide to go through with the loan.
Who will help you find a home and guide you through the purchase?
Professional real estate agents are the way to go if you want a smooth purchase experience. They can help you meet all your needs and stay within your price range. Additionally, experienced realtors are great negotiators when it comes to offers and counter-offers for the home you wish to purchase. They can handle the bidding, the first-time home buyers’ grants and pretty much all the paperwork associated with it.
Most real estate agents work on commission, so it is in their interest for you to get what you want as well. They are similar to a team of movers in that manner – the only difference being that while one helps you fulfill your new home expectations, the other offers the help you need when moving house. But at the end of the day, both are there to help you start that next step in life.
The buying process for first-time home buyers
Now that you’ve got a general idea of what it takes to prepare for that first home purchase, it’s time to take a closer look at the actual buying process. This part of the experience can get out of hand real fast, with all the offers and counter-offers flying around. So, the key here is to stay composed and put your sanity first. Here are some steps to help you do just that:
Consider your financing options and secure financing
First-time homebuyers have a wide variety of options to help them purchase a home. Both those available to any purchaser, including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) – backed mortgages, and those geared especially to neophytes. Many first-time home buyers’ programs offer minimum down payments. These payments can go as low as 3% to 5%. Furthermore, there are a few that require no down payment at all.
Take the time to gather offers and calculate your financial status.
When on the hunt for a mortgage pre-approval, you shouldn’t feel obligated towards your current financial institution. The more offers you gather, the cheaper you might be able to acquire one of those first-time home buyers’ grants. Otherwise, you risk choosing an option that might not be in your best interest when it comes to buying a home. There are those that preach the option of a back-up lender. Having a second lender offers you a safety net in case the prior mortgage rate blows up and takes you by surprise.
Make an offer
Once you’ve gone and decided how much to offer for the house, time to write up an offer. Your real estate agents can be of great help here, as they will offer an objective opinion. Also, they will help you find just the right balance in terms of demands.
Obtain a home inspection
We can often be blinded by the thrill of buying that first home, so much so that we miss potential flaws. This is why you should have a trained professional to inspect the property in terms of:
- Overall condition of your new home
Make sure to inspect the property or to have a professional do it for you.
The last thing you want is to buy a home, only to realize a couple of weeks later that you have installation flaws or other defects. This way, you will avoid this headache and be able to walk away or re-negotiate. Remember that there are plenty of housing options on the market – you don’t have to go for the first one you come across. This is a common mistake with first-time home buyers, one that you can easily avoid.
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