You Are Looking for Buying Your First Home ? Here Are 5 Things You Should Know

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You Are Looking for Buying Your First Home ? Here Are 5 Things You Should Know

Back when my husband and I bought our first home in 1997, I knew little about home buying. It was a charming house built on a solid slab of concrete that I had a dream I was flying through the living room of prior to purchasing. That’s how I knew it was the house for us.

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Blessedly, we were able to sell that home at a profit and then buy and sell our second home in California also at a profit in 2002. By the time we purchased our third and current home, the real estate market had already collapsed – so I felt safely ensconced in being able to ride out the journey of our home’s value building back up again before we embark on the journey to our beautiful and blessed fourth home.

As you can tell, I’ve learned a thing or two about buying homes. So here are 5 tips for new home-buyers on what to do and expect from the process:

Buying Your First Home

STEP #1: FIND A GOOD REAL ESTATE AGENT

Our first real estate agent was a great guy who was able to advise us and direct us on the neighborhoods that we might love in a city that was foreign to us – and steered us clear of those we might not love.
A great agent should listen to your desires and be able to show you new and existing listings that fit your fancy. They’ll be able to tote you around in their car and alert you to overpriced homes versus those that are a good bargain.

STEP #2: FIND A GREAT HOME THAT YOU’D LOVE TO BUY

It might be easier said than done, but make sure to narrow your choices to what you really want in a home so you’re not overwhelmed with too many houses.
Research a bunch of homes online and try not to see more than 7 homes in one day so you won’t become mentally and physically and emotionally exhausted at the home buying process.
While it may take, on average, nearly two months for people to figure out the neighborhood they’d love to live within, it generally only takes seeing 2 to 3 homes after that to settle on a home to buy.

STEP #3: OBTAIN A MORTGAGE LOAN FROM A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION

Unless you’ve got tons of cash sitting in the bank waiting to plop down on the home of your dreams, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan to figure out the range of what you can possibly afford for a new home.
Sellers need to know that the person placing an offer on their home has the verified funding to back it up. A lot of first-time home buyers go for FHA loans due to their low down payments, but not all do so. Some prefer the low rates of a 30-year fixed conventional loan.

So shop around and learn about all the pitfalls and pluses of various mortgage loans – and realize that just because you’re approved for a $250,000 loan doesn’t mean that you need to buy a house for that much if you can’t afford those monthly payments.

STEP #4: STRIKE A DEAL ON THE OFFER PRICE

Get the “comps” or comparable sales figures from your real estate agent, which will tell you how much recent and pending homes have actually sold for in the area within the last three months.
That will give you a starting point to help you realize how much wiggle room you have to negotiate on the home’s price. If it’s a slow market and the seller is desperate to get rid of the property, you might be able to get a great deal.

If it’s a hot market and multiple offers are coming in at full asking price on the same property, you might not be able to get a deal on the home – even if you come in at full asking price.

STEP #5: GET AN ALL-IMPORTANT HOME INSPECTION DONE TO UNCOVER FLAWS OR SOLIDIFY A GREAT PURCHASE

Make sure you get a great home inspection done by a quality home inspector in order to not just uncover major flaws of the home – but to rule out the fact that any exist.

This could provide you comfort in knowing you can request repairs to be made – or a credit offered in lieu of the repairs – and peace of mind that you’re getting the great deal in a home that you expect.
Once all of the financial details are worked out and you close escrow, barring no other obstacles, the home should be yours – so celebrate becoming a first-time home buyer, and continue to research doing all those little things that you may not have ever considered as an apartment renter, such as paying to have all the locks changed when you move in.

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You Are Looking for Buying Your First Home ? Here Are 5 Things You Should Know
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