The prospects of buying a home can be difficult for even the most seasoned home buyer. When you are entering the market for the first time, it can be a truly challenging experience with numerous factors to consider. To help you out, I’ve compiled a short list of questions all new homeowners should be asking themselves.
1. Are My Finances In Order?
Knowing your credit score is important, but isn’t the complete story. Another step you’ll want to take is to look into a mortgage pre-approval. Some (but not all) agents even prefer to avoid showing homes to buyers without a pre-approval. However, that is just the beginning. Additional factors that you need to be aware of include closing cost, monthly costs, and small renovation costs.
2. Calculate All the Costs
As mentioned above, closing costs and monthly payments are a major factor and many get blinded by purchase price. However, there are many items that may get overlooked for a first-time home buyer.
When you are doing the math be sure you are considering these:
Real estate taxes
Homeowner or condo fees (also known as HOA fees)
3. Don’t Focus on the Wrong Things
Once you find your numbers are correct, you should start setting up home visits and attending open houses. However, don’t lose focus of the long-term benefits of a home. Be sure investigate the neighborhood and school district’s reputation, the lot size, structural integrity. The latter two points are difficult for a novice to confirm. Therefore, it’s wise to invest in a home inspection and land survey. While it’s always nice when a home comes with new granite countertops and attractive interior paint colors, these are minor considerations compared with the overall structural integrity of the home.
4. Great Things Take a Team
It’s more than acceptable to admit you need help, and real estate agents are there to do just that. Agents get access to listings before they are on the market, so partnering with an agent means you are privy to information others are not. Some qualities to keep in mind when deciding on your agent are timeliness, market savviness, knowledge of your desired location and type of home. Are you ready to take the dive? Contact me today to help you find your dream home!