If you have never bought a home before, the first time can be quite difficult. There is a lot that you need to be aware of. Sometimes, it may seem like there isn’t a good source with the necessary information. That’s why getting a real estate agent is the best way to make this process easier. They have sold many homes and worked with numerous first-time buyers. A good agent will know how to guide you through the process.
A home is a major purchase. Making a mistake can be serious, and every first-time homeowner wants to avoid this. Not only are there mistakes that can be prevented, but tips that can be taken advantage of. Knowing these can make the process much smoother for first-time buyers. A house sale can be difficult to close for even the most experienced people.
This post will let you know the most important things when buying your first home. This includes the pitfalls to avoid and tips to make the process smoother.
What Do I Do to Buy My First Home?
It would be nice if the process was as easy as money just exchanging hands. Unfortunately, it isn’t this way. A first-time homeowner may need to be guided through the process. The steps below are important to follow when buying your first home:
1. Assess your credit score.
2. Seek out a mortgage.
3. Prepare your down payment.
4. Figure out your needs in a home.
5. Begin the search for a home.
6. Understand the expenses that a new home can bring.
7. Finalize the loan.
8. Get a real estate agent!
9. Make an offer.
10. Do your due diligence before closing.
- Assess your credit score. Very few homeowners will buy a home with cash. This is even less likely for a first-time homeowner. Many will opt for a mortgage to make it more affordable. Not everyone can get a mortgage though. A bank will want to make sure you are likely to be able to pay it back. That is where the credit report comes in. It is important to make sure everything is in order and your score is good. This way, there won’t be any hitches when applying for the loan.
- Seek out a mortgage. It is better to get pre-approved for a mortgage before even looking for a house. There are two important things to know when dealing with a mortgage before a home. These are pre-qualification and pre-approval.
a. Pre-qualification is the quick way to get a guess of how large a loan you can get. This estimate is made by providing some details. These include your income, debt, and assets. This isn’t a formal process that needs to be done in person. A phone call can suffice in getting this done. This is a rough estimate and the actual mortgage can differ significantly.
b. Pre-approval is the next step. This is a more precise form of a pre-qualification. A mortgage application must be completed for pre-approval. This includes providing all necessary information and documents. This will permit a full assessment of your financial situation. The bank will be able to give you ‘pre-approval’ for a specific mortgage amount. You can then use this amount as a guideline when searching for a home.
- Prepare your down payment. A mortgage will always require a down payment on the home. In many cases, this will be about 20%. It can be lower than this in some cases, but it is best to prepare for 20%. You will need this money ready for when you’re ready to finalize the loan. Of course, the down payment depends on the type of loan you are applying for.
- Figure out your needs in a home. It is important to list your requirements. Do you want a home with multiple stories? A swimming pool? A large yard? What sort of community do you want to live in? These criteria are important to decide as early as possible. Know which ones are must-haves and which ones can be let go of. This will reduce confusion later on.
- Begin the search for a home. House hunting is the most enjoyable part of the process. You can look through listings online or get a real estate agent to help. If you’re looking for homes for sale in Lewisburg, WV, you’ll have many options. Take your time to find something that you are absolutely fine with. After all, it is a very long-term decision to make.
- Understand the expenses that a new home can bring. There are a few small expenses that can show up before finalizing a home sale. This includes inspections, such as home, termite, mold, radon, as well as insurance, and a survey of the property.
- Finalize the loan. Once you have an idea of the type of home you want, it is time to finalize the process. Officially apply for the loan and collect paperwork from your bank. You will need to get a variety of documents ready. The earlier you do this, the better.
- Get a real estate agent! This is all too important. As a first-time buyer, it is essential to have experienced hands to guide you. If you haven’t involved one up till now in the process, it is time. If you’re looking for a home in Lewisburg, WV, you should get an agent with experience in the area.
- Make an offer. Along with your agent, you should make an offer on a home at this point. It can take 45 days or more to close a sale, so you should be prepared for that. Of course, if it is a cash deal a closing can be two weeks or less.
- Do your due diligence before closing. You will be required to get home insurance on the property before closing. So if you have made an offer and all is going well, ensure this is ready. If you follow these 10 steps, the process should be much simpler, even as a first-time buyer. With a good agent with you, all bases should be covered.
What Mistakes Can I Avoid with a First-Time Home?
- You do not need to use as much as your loan allows you. You can get a house for slightly less than what you are allowed by your bank or mortgage company. If it meets your criteria, of course. This will let you be more comfortable with the monthly payment.
- Always assess the neighborhood. Public transit, parks, hospitals, grocery stores, and other facilities are important to consider. Scrutinize your credit report. It is common for a credit report to have errors. Look through it and ensure it is accurate. This will allow you a better loan and interest rate.
Buying a home for the first time doesn’t need to be scary. It can be a memorable experience if you do it right. With a good real estate agent by your side, it will be a breeze.
In Lewisburg, WV, Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor® is always there to help you buy your first home. You can call her at 304-520-2133 to start looking for your new home.