No matter how much time you spend on researching and educating yourself about your 1st home purchase, it’s hard to cover every detail. Here are a few tips for avoiding rookie mistakes with your first home purchase.
1. Seek the council of an experienced Real Estate Agent. We can help educate you and make sure you do not fall prey to the many pitfalls involved in every Real Estate transaction. That is our job…and, we are happy to do it. We understand that you may not be ready quite yet, but we know that and are patient - so don’t pass up a resource just because you aren’t sure you are qualified right now.
2. Save as early as you can: Even if you think you’re years away from buying your first home, try to start saving for your down payment. It makes a huge difference in your monthly payments, and helps avoid paying Private Mortgage Insurance.
3. Be thorough with mortgage shopping. There are countless resources out there that can help you get the best terms for your mortgage. It may seem like a lot of work to shave less than a point off your mortgage rate, but it’ll save you thousands in the long run. My experience is that working with a local Mortgage Broker who has access to many programs is a great resource…particularly if you qualify for some State funding (depending on the state, your financial & income situation). Also, a local Mortgage Broker knows the market and will give you personal, face to face attention…two things that the online companies do not provide.
4. Consult a professional. You’re likely to fall in love with a home, and that can make it difficult to take problems seriously. Trust your agent. I don’t pull any punches in evaluating a home and defining the strengths and weaknesses of a particular opportunity AND I have local professionals to call upon for inspections or advice regarding potential repairs. We know the marketplace.
5. Be patient with getting settled. You’ll be anxious to make your new home your own, but once you close, take some time to see how your budget truly shakes out. In other words, hold off on big furniture purchases and remodeling projects. Definitely, consult your lender before making purchases prior to closing as that could add to your debt or reduce your savings, either of which could affect your financing.
6. Make sure you’re happy with the neighborhood. The house may be perfect, but don’t discount the surroundings. You don’t want to end up in the suburbs if you’re going to miss walking to your favorite coffee shop, and you don’t want to settle for the city if you’re looking forward to some peace and quiet. This is one of life's great moments....make sure you get exactly what you want.