Being a first-time home buyer is both exciting and overwhelming. It’s one of the biggest financial decisions you’ve ever made and it’s can also one of the most stressful too. Not to worry, I’ve picked up some tips from my experiences working with first-time buyers and put together a list of missteps to avoid before entering your first home purchase:
1. Starting to look in person before getting pre-approved. Get your ducks in a row before going out with an agent by talking to a couple of lenders. It’s important to determine what types of loans are available to fit your needs. Knowing what purchase price you can comfortably afford gives you the confidence to make an offer and freedom to chase your curiosity as you look for your future home.
2. Don't assume you need a 20% down payment. Many times, it may be possible to include closing costs into your home purchase. A good lender will walk you through various kinds of loans and grants to assess your eligibly and determine what options you have available.
3. Waiting for the "perfect" home. There really is no such thing as the perfect home. If you can find a home that meets 80% of your criteria (or more), then you should consider it. It helps to keep a running list of your top 3 when you start to seriously look for your future home. As you look at home, keep rolling list will help you compare and prepare as you approach making a final decision.
4. Not knowing what you want and looking at too many homes. Have a clear picture before you start looking of which few features are the most important to you. If location/school district is your #1 priority or you definitely want a basement, then don't look at any houses that don't aligns with these wants. Looking at too many homes can muddy up the waters and make it hard to find some clarity.
5. Not having a buyer's agent. Agents are paid by the seller. But, you get a buyer's agent for FREE! There is no reason to go it alone when can have a buyer's agent on your team. Your agent can assist with your search, represent you in the negotiating process, walk you through inspections and guide you all the way to the closing. Find an agent you like, want to work with and stick with them until you find right home for you.
-Sherry Plain, Brinkoetter Realtor