There are a few techniques for first time home buyers that can save you thousands of dollars and make your first home purchase as successful as purchases done by seasoned buyers. Here are a few things for first time home buyers to consider from Tony Delisi at RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest that can save you thousands.
Draw Up A Budget
Be sure you have a budget of all your expenses that shows you can afford a home. Then, stick to your budget. First time home buyers are often surprised how much more they can save when they stick to a written budget as opposed to spending without a plan. One little known technique for first time home buyers is to put the amount you want to save in a separate account as soon as you receive money and then figure out how to lib= e on what you have left. This “pay yourself first ” technique will help you save for your new home.
Find Out What You Can Afford
The next step for first time home buyers in buying a home is to get pre-qualified by a lender. This will tell you how much you can afford. Pre-qualification can be done in less than 24 hours and it’s free. You simply answer questions and you receive a letter from the institution verifying how much you can afford to spend on a home. This letter is almost always required when you make an offer. You are not obligated to get your mortgage from the institution that prequalified you, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being pre-qualified. Down payment can be a challenge for first time home buyers, so check out my article on how to get more out of your downpayment too.
Make Your List Of Wishes & Deal Breakers
Write out a list of the features you want in your home. Start with things like how many bedrooms, how big, type of home etc. Then, add things that you make you happy in your home like fenced yard, deck for grilling, sunny kitchen, exercise room etc. This list helps first time buyers focus and remember as they see homes and it is great information to share with your Realtor to help them search for properties that will please you. Also include in your list deal breakers – things you definitely do not want in your home.
Study Neighborhoods – Take Your Time
You can change a lot about your new home but you can’t change the location. Check out neighborhoods to determine which ones are best for you. Think about where you go often for work, to visit family, fitness center, baseball etc and calculate your travel time. Check out where the train tracks, sewage treatment plants, traffic bottlenecks etc are. Where are parks, farmers markets, boutiques and other amenities you want.
Study Models & Types – Be Open Minded
Often, first time home buyers don;t take the time to consider different types of home. Do you want a one floor ranch? Have you considered a tri-level? Now is the time to look at all types of home. You may be surprised to find which types please you, so be open minded in your search. Be sure to choose a Realtor who is happy to show you homes as first time buyers need to see more homes before making their choice.
Don’t Expect Everything Done Right Away
Since this will be your first home, your the budget may not cover a home with everything you want right away. that’s OK. You can move into the home and gradually fix the cosmetics. This approach really helps first time buyers get homes that will be great for them by choosing one a little more affordable now and getting the granite, new flooring etc as they live in the home.
Don’t Expect Your Dream Home First Time
While it’s great if you can find your dream home and afford to get it the first time, most first time home buyers start with a “first home” and gradually move up over the years. It’s important not to reject homes that could be right for you because they don;t have every feature you want eventually.
Don’t Hire Family Or Friends To Represent You
First time buyers often hire family or friends to represent them in their purchase. This can turn into a disaster. Will you be comfortable firing a family member if you aren;t getting the service you need? Will they see you as a client or a friend. Often Realtors who know you make assumptions instead of asking questions.
Ask About Closing Costs
Your Realtor should provide you with a written estimate of closing costs so you will not face surprises later on in the transaction. Some items are paid for by the seller and some by the buyer. Make sure you know which apply to you.
For more assistance designed for first time home buyers, call or text the specialist Tony Delisi at RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest 847-471-7177.