The first thing you need to remember is that owning a house is much more expensive than renting one. Although your monthly house payment may be similar to your current rent, you are now responsible for all upkeep, maintenance, and mishaps. It is therefore important to be debt-free and have an emergency fund of three to six months of your expenses. Finally, make sure that you can afford to spend at least three to six months each month on the home.
Set A Realistic Budget
First time home buyers should have enough savings and down payment to purchase a house. The down payment is often the biggest expense, but there will also be ongoing payments, including homeowners insurance and property taxes. It is best to gather financial information about all these expenses, including debts, savings, and discretionary spending. A first-time buyer’s budget should also account for 1% of the purchase price for maintenance and repairs.
Once the price range has been determined, consider how much you’re able to spend each month on maintenance and repairs. The monthly mortgage payment alone can quickly become a nightmare if your monthly payments are too high. Be sure to cost out the house before signing the contract. Even if you’re planning on paying cash for repairs, you’ll want to make sure it’s within your price range.
Consult with A Real Estate Agent
The first step in buying a new home is to consult with a Flat Fee Realtor. You can get referrals from friends and colleagues. Ask them how they know an agent. If they have recently sold a home, then they are a good resource. In addition, you can ask future co-workers about their agents. Make sure to ask them how they met the agent.
In addition to saving the real estate agent time, a buyer consultation will also give the client a sense of what to expect when buying a new home. In this way, the agent can better manage expectations and prevent any surprises. For example, an agent can use comparative market analysis to determine the value of a home. Using this method has been proven to work 70 percent of the time. If your agent is losing more than 50% of your clients, it’s time to consider your own consultation skills.
Get Pre Approved for A Loan Before Looking at Properties
Getting pre-approved for a loan before you start looking at properties for a first time home buy can help you narrow down your price range. It’s a great way to ensure you’re not spending more than you can afford and give yourself negotiating power with sellers. While pre-approval may not make the difference between a good house and a bad one, it will help you make an informed decision about what kind of home to look at.
Getting pre-approved is not difficult, but it’s important to remember that the process can take some time. Many first time homebuyers are intimidated by the process and decide to put it off. But, this decision can turn out to be one of the most costly mistakes you’ll ever make. The time spent to get pre-approved will pay off in the end. By taking the time now to prepare for this important step, you’ll be able to start your search confidently and get the best possible price.
Find a Real Estate Agent with Experience Working
There are several ways to find a real estate agent who has experience working with first-time home buyers. Ask friends and family for referrals. Word of mouth can be a powerful tool for choosing the best real estate agent for you. Check out open houses and check out the credentials of agents you’re considering. They should also be available at all times to show you homes, so they can be flexible when it comes to your schedule.
If your agent has a lot of transactions under his or her belt, this may not be the best option for you. Not only is this agent too busy to give you personalized attention, but he or she may also lack knowledge about your area. A knowledgeable agent will be able to market your home to buyers and provide you with local knowledge. Using an agent with experience with first-time home buyers will be more effective than an agent without enough experience.