When you are a first time home buyer, you truly cannot get enough education on the subject. Some information will be right down your alley, some might not be as important to you, but all information is good information when it comes to making your first home investment. Waypoint Real Estate Group is here to coach you through it. Here are some more great tips in our series for the first time home buyer.
Get pre-qualified for your loan. You might not be the only person interested in the house you are looking at. With a pre-qualification letter you will be a much more attractive first time home buyer.
A pre-qualification letter is particularly handy in a competitive housing market. You may find the home of your dreams, but “uh oh” it’s someone else’s dream home as well. If you are the seller you now have buyer options to consider. While the dollar amount of the offer will be one consideration, knowing that a buyer is qualified for a mortgage is another consideration all together. Prepare yourself with a pre-qualification letter to go into the negotiation with a strong stance.
Never trust a verbal deal. Just like any professional business, you shouldn’t trust that a deal is confirmed until it is on paper.
Break open the bubbly after the ink is dry. Just because you’ve received a phone call that you are the winning bidder on a home doesn’t mean that the deal is set in stone yet. A verbal agreement means nothing in legal terms and a seller could change their mind if a better offer comes in. As soon as you have been informed that the seller has accepted your bid, make sure your agent is obtaining that commitment in writing. Once everything is in writing let the first time home buyer celebratory dancing commence!
Don’t forget the resale value. Being a first time home buyer is exciting, and in this moment it may seem like you will live in this home forever, but you never know what unexpected life surprises might come your way.
Remember that your home is also an investment and make sure you think of it this way too. When considering homes look at what appeals to you and also what appeals to future buyers. A corner lot might have more appeal for a future resale. Do you have a great yard that backs up to a nature preserve guaranteeing a view safe from future construction? Consider both your own preferences and those of others. Maybe that highway buzz doesn’t bother you, but a future buyer could walk out as soon as they hear the first honk.
Examine the details. Any buyer can be distracted with glamorous amenities, but a first time home buyer may be particularly distracted with bells and whistles. But sometimes the bells and whistles can distract you from hidden problems in a home.
Take your time and look at EVERYTHING. Maybe that massive marble countertop is distracting you from the aging floorboards below. Perhaps you think to yourself, “this home could be easily remodeled” without realizing that the walls are filled with faulty wiring. Look at a home from the inside out. Taking the time to examine everything is vitally important. You can sometimes feel rushed to make a decision on a house, especially if other offers seem imminent, but down the line you will appreciate that you were educated about your purchase. Zillow offers a great home inspection checklist to help remind you of what to look for. Remember that your own inspection is no substitute for a professional inspection, which you will want to do as well. Professional home inspectors are specialized in seeing electrical, structural and plumbing problems that the average homebuyer (especially a first time home buyer) might not be as educated about.
Don’t forget the extra costs of buying a home. You aren’t just paying for the home. You are paying for the process of buying a home, and there are strings attached that you might not have thought of yet.
Do your research and prepare for these costs in advance. Some costs you may not have considered include: Lender fee, appraisal fee, credit report fee, escrow fee, notary fee, homeowner’s insurance fees, property taxes, government fees, HOA costs, home inspection and moving costs. If you prepare for these expenditures in advance and already have the money set aside then you are less likely to be in hot water when these costs come up down the line.
Waypoint Real Estate Group understands that being a first time home buyer is both exciting and complex. We are here to continue to provide you with great tips to make sure your first home is a home run. Contact us today. We would love to talk to you about the first time home buyer process and what it means for you personally.