Buying your first home for most people is a huge milestone and life event, and one you should enjoy. The move from renting and essentially paying someone else’s mortgage for them, to investing in yourself and your future is something you should be proud of. Nowadays people buy homes for a plethora of reasons: growing families, financial investment or even for their pets!
That being said, a home purchase for most people is the biggest financial investment of their lives. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars in most cases. This alone, can scare many people. But, buying your first home should be a joyful experience not a scary one. Here are some tips if you are considering purchasing your first home this year.
So many buyers we speak to are woefully uninformed about the process, what they need to do, and what the right steps to take are. Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and reach out to a real estate agent with questions. Agents are here to help. If you have questions, ask them! Often the process for first time home buyers is a long one and requires a lot of steps. A good agent will sit down with you or jump on a phone call and walk you through all the steps, so you fully understand what to expect. Make no mistake, between getting pre-approved for a loan, looking at homes, submitting an offer, etc. there are many steps. Also, buying a home does not happen overnight. Often, you may find unexpected obstacles, such as credit score, down payment, or closing costs, that you may not have been prepared for. Getting in front of these obstacles is the key. To that end, do not wait. If your lease ends in 6 months, you may want to reach out to an agent now.
Working with a good agent and loan officer are key. But not all agents and loan officers are equal. Often first time home buyers make the mistake of simply choosing the bank that they use for their loan because it seems easiest. But the truth is banks and mortgage lenders can and should compete for your business. We find that most for most buyers, it is easiest to start by understanding what they are comfortable with as a monthly payment and work backwards from there. Again, this is something you should do at the very beginning of the home buying process, and a good LO will be able to help you understand everything you can expect to get you to the payment that you are comfortable with.
One theme that you may have noticed here, is that buying a home does not happen overnight. If you are considering purchasing a home anytime in the near future, you should be speaking with an agent soon. Getting your ducks in a row as they say is key. First, understand the full process, then make sure your financials are in order and that you are comfortable (which can take some time), then start looking at homes.
Understand and prepare ahead of time! That is the best advice we can give to any first time home buyer, which is why we encourage you to reach out any time. We are happy to answer your questions regardless of whether you decide buying a home is right for you or not.