5 First Time Home Buyer Tips
5 First-Time Homebuyer Tips
Before you make the major investment of buying a home, it’s important to learn as much as you possibly can to avoid headaches down the line. We’ve compiled a list of a few of our top tips to make your home buying process go smoothly. If you follow them, you should have an easier time as a first-time homebuyer purchasing your dream home!
Don't Waste Time Looking for Perfection
When you're about to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a home, it can seem ridiculous to have to compromise on anything;big or small. But, unfortunately, compromise when buying a house is inevitable. Whether it's the size of the kitchen, the lack of crown molding, or the unfinished basement, you won’t be able to get everything you want in your home. Remember that you also have the ability to change things if they're cosmetic. So don’t immediately pass on a home just because it’s missing a few of your preferences.
Understand All the Costs Involved
Some first-time homebuyers plan for the down payment and the mortgage and that’s it. If that is what you've been doing, you're in for a big surprise! There are all kinds of other costs involved with owning a home. You will need to budget for the closing costs, mortgage insurance, earnest money, homeowner's insurance, property taxes, increases utilities, and more!
If you want a more accurate idea of what you should expect to pay, talk to your lender or your real estate agent. They can help you estimate some of these costs.
Don't Commit to the First Mortgage You Look Into
Don't make the mistake of thinking that all mortgages are created equally. They will all come with different interest rates, fees, and requirements. Keep in mind that even a small percentage difference in rates will add up over time in a big way.
In addition, there are also different types of mortgages. Conventional loans may be the most common type of home loan, but you should also look into FHA loans and USDA loans. You may also qualify for a VA loan.
Read Your Disclosures
Maybe you’re used to automatically clicking “agree to terms and conditions” when you're shopping online—but when you’re doing something as major as purchasing a home, it's important to read everything, including the real estate disclosures. This document is meant to disclose any problems with a home that could decrease its value or your experience living in it.
If there is anything you're unclear on after reading the disclosures, make sure you ask questions. If you spot vague words like “small,” ask for more details so you know exactly what you're dealing with. It's up to you to decide whether living in a home with those issues is worth it.
Choose Your Lender Carefully
Your lender can be a tremendous resource to you in your home buying process. But if you choose someone who’s inexperienced or doesn’t know the local area very well, you’re going to miss out on that resource.