Home Buying can be an extraordinarily daunting task, especially if it’s your first time. But, wait you say. Dating isn’t as complicated as home buying.
You have dated someone before, haven’t you? It’s the epitome of confusing. Your first date resembles something out of a detective novel, as you turn into Sherlock Holmes in your superhuman efforts to figure out this… person. You have a checklist of likes and dislikes, good qualities and bad qualities, and things you consider overall deal breakers. You snoop, pry, evaluate, and gossip with your friends as you try to figure out if this person could be the “one” (ok, so maybe this is more for the women than men, as I have been told our checklist is pretty simple.)
You get my point. Still, you’ve got to see the comparisons here.
So, in our effort to illuminate first time homebuyers on the homebuying process, we’ve composed a list of five quick tips that will help guide them in their quest for the perfect home (or eternal love, we’re not choosey.)
*Quick disclaimer: This is not a first time homebuyers guide, as in, a step by step chart on how to buy a home. There are sooooo many of those out there that we decided it would be more beneficial to do some quick tips on what first time homebuyers should be thinking about during their homebuying process.
1. Are you ready to commit?
And we’re not just talking about an agent, or looking at houses. We’re talking serious marriage level commitment here. Buying a home is going to be the biggest purchase in your lifetime.
You can’t dump a home a month into the relationship by telling your bank, “it’s not me, it’s you”. Home ownership is awesome, but it is still a big deal and a HUGE responsibility. Take your time and think about this one.
2. Starting your home search / Choosing an agent.
Before you date someone, you kind of know what you’re looking for. Personality, looks, job, etc. You have a predetermined list of qualities someone needs to possess before you even consider going on a date.
Same thing with buying a home.
First, you need to determine what you’re looking for in your home. New construction or resale? Urban or country? What do you picture your first home as when you’re are building it in your mind? This is the checklist that we were talking about earlier. Establish your parameters early and often, and be ruthless.
Now you need someone to help you in your search efforts. Of course we are talking about hiring a Real Estate professional. Think of us… as the host of the Bachelor. We are there to facilitate the process, but we aren’t trying to influence your decision in any way.
Sidenote, our team tends to have a better success rate than the couples on the Bachelor.
3. Getting Preapproved for a loan.
We often hear first time homebuyers ask: What do I need preapproval for? And what is it anyway?
Think of this as your third date. Things are getting serious, and it’s time to make sure that you can proceed to actually buy the home you want. It tells you what you can or cannot afford, so that you don’t try to buy a $1.5 million home when you make $20,000. It also helps you frame a mental picture of the amount of money you’re comfortable with spending on your mortgage.
I mean, it’s like dating that perfect someone for a while, and you’re really, really, really happy. But, then you find out that they want kids. Ok. No big deal. That’s cool with you. One or two is no big deal right?
Then you hear the number. And it’s a lot. Duggar style big.
Now you’re heartbroken and bitter (and honestly a little bit scared, I mean, who wants that many kids anyway), vowing to never love (or buy a home) again!
A preapproval letter will help prevent any future bitterness. Trust us on this one.
4. Get to know the neighborhood.
This is something that most people tend to do after they move into their new home. Crazy, right?
Think of this as the time you finally get to meet the other person’s friends or family. They can tell you a lot about how awesome (or terrible) the person you are seeing can be.
It’s also a good time to return to Sherlock Holmes mode and see if the friends or family are crazy, because we all know that crazy only attracts more crazy.
Ain’t nobody got time for crazy. So seriously. Scope out the neighbors and get the inside scoop on your community that you could potentially wed yourself to for your foreseeable future. Oftentimes, you’ll meet some interesting people, and you’ll gain some local knowledge.
5. Plan for the future.
When you date someone, it’s inevitable that you start planning for the future (especially the ladies out there.) You think about how you’re going to spend holidays (his/her family or mine, or both!), kids, and even a home (that’s when we get excited!)
No, you don’t have kids right now. Or that awesome, super deluxe kitchen you’ve always dreamed about.
But that’s ok.
Chances are pretty good that you’re going to end up moving at least once in your lifetime, so plan accordingly. Research the area you’re thinking about buying in and ask questions about future developments within your community, as well as any major developments around you (i.e. shopping, restaurants, local entertainment, etc.)
This also takes us back to our second point. A great Real Estate agent can help you answer these questions, and many more that you won’t think of. And remember, buying a home is an investment. A Real Estate professional will be able to help you find, negotiate, and successfully purchase a home that will prove to be a solid investment down the road.
We’re kind of like that grandparent who gives you the super helpful advice, right when you need it most.