Top 3 Tips for New Home Buyers
Buying a home can be stressful, overwhelming, confusing, time consuming, and nerve-racking, especially if you are doing it for the very first time. There are a lot of steps to finding the perfect home for you and your family and if you skip vital steps, the home buying process can be more stressful than it needs to be. Lucky for you, it doesn’t have to be that way.
In this article, I’ll discuss 3 tips that will help you make your home ownership journey less bumpy, and pretty much, an awesome experience.
Work With a Reputable Real Estate Agent That Knows the Area
You need to enlist the services of a real estate agent who has great knowledge of the area you intend to buy a home. Believe it or not, a real estate agent is the difference between making your home buying experience a positive or negative one.
Talk to a number of your friends to determine what their home buying experience was like and most if not all of them will mention the experience they had with their Realtor. As a Realtor in Northern Virginia, I’ve heard the good, bad, and ugly when it comes to home buying experiences.
When looking for a great real estate agent, you want someone that you feel comfortable with, but that person also needs to be familiar with your desired location. It helps if they’ve sold homes in the area because they will know the home buying trends and how to put together an offer that is more likely to be accepted.
Your real estate agent needs to be a good listener, understand what your needs are, match those needs to your dream home and stay in your corner throughout the home buying process and beyond.
Working with a real estate agent familiar with the area you intend to buy a home in means you get to save time, find your ideal home fast, and he/she is able to offer you tips that will make your home buying experience enjoyable.
Know Your Budget and Get Financing Before Looking
As a new home buyer, before you start looking for your dream home, it’s important to have a clear budget and get the necessary financing. Scrutinize your income, sources of revenue, and how much you are actually willing or can afford to spend on your new home.
Once you have a clear idea of your monthly budget (having factored in other expenses such as taxes and homeowner insurance), it is time talk to a mortgage lender and get pre-approved for a loan.
A pre-approval letter in essence shows home sellers that you are serious about buying a home and somewhat gives you a competitive edge over other buyers without one.
In order to get pre-approved, your lender will check your credit worthiness, verify your financial information (this includes taxes, proof of income, and work history), and submit your loan application for preliminary underwriting.
Knowing how much house you can afford will help you focus your search on those properties that are within your budget.
Have an Idea of What You Want Before You Start Looking
When it comes to buying a home, as a new home buyer you may have watched many episodes of HGTV and have a good idea of what you want in a house.
You’ll want to keep that list in mind when looking for a home and although you’ll need to work within your budget, you don’t want to give up on your must haves (within reason).
Writing down what’s important to you in your ideal home helps your real estate agent do a better job of finding homes that will match your criteria.
Here’s some things you’ll want to think about:
- Should the home be in a suburban area or in the city?
- What type of exterior would you like?
- What about the style of home? Should it be a cottage, a bungalow, contemporary, log, Tudor, colonial, ranch, or A-frame?
- How many bedrooms should it have?
- What age should the home be?
- What’s your preferred flooring type?
All these and many more are important considerations before deciding on the ideal home to buy.
Buying your first home is exciting and a fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Have a set budget, know what you want in a home, work with a reputable real estate agent, get the necessary financing, and buy a home that you will be proud of as a first time buyer!
Darren Robertson is a top-producing licensed REALTOR® in Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. Valuing service over sales, Darren is known by his clients for both his extensive local market knowledge, as well his patience and reliability as he helps them on their home buying and home selling journey.
Darren is a tech-forward agent who places a heavy emphasis on internet marketing and blogging in his business.
When he’s not helping his clients buy and sell homes, he enjoys going on adventures with his beautiful wife and two little ones, strategy games, movies, red wine, and traveling.
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