Tips for First Time Homebuyers

Real Estate Broker/Owner with CIDER Properties

Buying your first home is a big deal . . . not to mention a big investment!

If you are like most it will be the biggest purchase you have ever made. This naturally leads to a mix of emotions including excitement, anticipation and anxiety. While it may be impossible to eliminate the stress that comes from your first home purchase, you can certainly minimize it by going into the situation prepared.

Have A General IdeaOf What You Want

  • Make sure you have a general idea about the type of property you would like to buy. Regardless of what you can afford, it is worthwhile to really think about what you want. This is still your biggest expenditure thus far and it is important to get what you want out of it.
  • Decide on basics like neighborhood, schools, size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms. 

Get Pre-Approved Before You Start Looking

  • Another very important first time home buyer tip is to get your financial house in order! You can’t really start shopping until you know how much money you have to spend. Your idea of what you will qualify for may be accurate, but it may not be.
  • Find out what your maximum loan amount will be. One of the first things you should do when setting out to buy your first home is to get pre-approved for a mortgage!
  • Keep in mind that there is a distinct difference between getting pre-approved vs getting pre-qualified over the phone. While a pre-qualification letter may help you understand how much you can afford to pay each month towards a mortgage payment, it does very little to solidify your position as a legitimate home buyer. 

Find A Good REALTOR®

  • One of the best first time home buyer tips I can give you is to hire an outstanding REALTOR® (ME)! You do not have (nor should you want) to go through the home buying process alone. In fact, you probably shouldn’t.  
  • Hire a Buyer's agent instead of using the seller's agent or intermediary.
  • There are numerous reasons to hire an exceptional REALTOR®, including gaining access to the best available homes, having someone working regularly to find the house you really want and having an agent on your side in negotiations.
  • Having a professional in your corner is always beneficial, whether it is a mechanic fixing your car or a real estate agent helping you buy your home. But, as with a mechanic, not all real estate agents are created equal. Some are far more motivated and skilled than others, so you need to screen agents before choosing yours.

Make The Right Offer

  • Make sure you understand how home values & comparables work!
  • Negotiation is a fine art, not something learned in a day. This is part of why you search for agents that set reasonable goals for their clients and tend to obtain those goals. You want someone who understands what a home is worth and can argue the value points reliably. There may be any number of things that can give you an edge in negotiations.
  • A top notch buyer’s agent is going to be looking out for your interests. The best of the best will try to make sure you are paying fair market value or below for the home you are interested in. If you feel you are working with an agent who is concerned about their own pocket book and not yours, dump them fast. This is not the type of agent you want in your corner when it comes time to negotiate.  An agent who needs a sale is going to give you different advice than one that doesn’t.
  • As a first time home buyer it is important to realize that not all real estate agents are created equally.
  • Get a Home Warranty but choose your company wisely. A lot of people think a home warranty will cover everything that could possibly go wrong with a house but there are actually a lot of exclusions. It's important to read the fine print. Most home warranty providers offer a basic plan in the $325 to $475 range. They also offer premium packages and add-ons that can increase that number to $500 or as much as $1,000. 

Listen to The Home Inspector

  • Another important first time home buyer tip is to find a top notch home inspector!
  • If the seller accepts your offer the next step is a thorough home inspection. A home inspector will look over the entire property and determine if there are any common home inspection issues, as well as anything out of the ordinary you should be aware of. In some circumstances depending on the loan product you use, it is possible you may be required to have a few more inspections done besides the general inspection.
  • One thing to remember is that like any other profession there are some really good inspectors and some that are not so great.
  • Home inspectors have two roles:  do their job of discovering defects and then communicating the problems found to you.

Be A Responsible First Time Homeowner

  • Once you have closed on the house and moved in it may feel like all your work is done. It is important to remember though that you are just getting started in home ownership. Where before your landlord covered repair expenses, now those expenses are yours to bear. This can be quite a shock if you are not prepared for it.
  • Start saving for home maintenance immediately. Your home should last several lifetimes if properly cared for. If maintenance is ignored, though, you could find yourself losing out on your investment and your living quarters.
  • Make sure to keep your home insured for an amount that will cover your loses in the event of a tragic event such as a fire.
  • Don't forget to use your home warranty plan for repairs

Contact Cider Properties at (903) 484-4109 or to find your dream home!

Comments (2)

Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

This is a great list for First Time Home Buyers!  :)  I am going to Reblog it.  Thanks for anwering my question about dual state licensing.  :)

Feb 10, 2016 03:48 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Tanya, you will an excellent job with your buyer tips for preparing to buy a home.  

Mar 11, 2016 12:36 AM