It's National Home Ownership Month - You Can Become a Homeowner Too!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Associates RS - 0019092


The process of purchasing a home may seem overwhelming, especially if you're a first-time home buyer with no prior real estate experience. It's simple to feel overburdened by the amount of money needed for down payments, credit scores, interest rates, fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, property taxes, and closing costs. The stakes are really high when buying a first home!

Nevertheless, knowing the basics of home buying beforehand will make navigating the real estate market easier for you. Now let's start discussing some important information for first-time home buyers!

How can one purchase a home? To make your first home purchase, follow these guidelines. 



Save Your Money

Start saving a down payment, closing costs and moving expenses
One of the most crucial stages in making your first home purchase? Assess your financial situation. Purchasing a new house necessitates a mortgage, in which the lender advances the funds and you repay them gradually. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers. However, you will require a down payment of some kind in order to obtain a mortgage.

In order to avoid additional costs, a down payment on a mortgage should ideally equal at least 20% of the purchase price of the property. However, if this amount is not available to you, don't worry there are some mortgage types that require much less (even 0% down)

Find a real estate agent

Do you want a reliable house-buying guide to assist you? The majority of first-time home buyers will want an excellent real estate agent, more specifically a buyer's agent, who will guide them through the process of finding the ideal homes, negotiate a great price and terms, and explain all the subtleties involved in purchasing a home. 

Chris Pataki, a Realtor with RE/MAX Associates has been part of the real estate industry since 2001 and has  helped hundreds of people like you become happy homeowners.


Mortgage Pre Approval EXPLAINED | Golden Eagle Mortgage Group


 Get pre-approved for a mortgage

One more of the most crucial actions for someone buying their first home is requesting a lender's preapproval for a house loan. This is the meeting where you should have a few loan officers from different mortgage companies.

Every mortgage lender will carefully examine your financial history, including your assets and debt-to-income ratio, and use this information to decide whether to approve your loan application and how much of a monthly payment you can actually afford. This will assist you in finding properties within your budget. This is advantageous since paying more than the asking price will force you to worry about your mortgage payment and increase your chance of defaulting on your loan.

Just remember that mortgage pre-approval and pre-qualification are two different things as a buyer. If you pre-qualify, the process is much simpler and can give you an approximate idea of how much you can borrow without requiring a commitment from the lender. Although obtaining pre-approval requires a lot of paperwork, it's worthwhile because it validates your creditworthiness and ability to actually purchase a home.




Go Find Your New Home

Now comes the enjoyable part. Thousands of real estate listings are available for viewing on websites like, so as a buyer, you can ask your agent to schedule appointments so you can see the properties you've selected in person.

It is best to distinguish between features you really need and those you would like to have but aren't quite necessary because the sheer number of homes available can be overwhelming. Which would you rather have—a brand-new house or a fixer-upper? To begin, enumerate your needs and wants and narrow down your options.


My Offer Was Accepted; How Can I Back Out? |


Make an offer

Located your ideal house? After that, it's time to present and negotiate an offer. In today's competitive market, make sure to put your best foot forward.  If you like the house, chances are there will be others that like it too. When your offer is accepted, t is necessary to write a check to the seller's agency, which is known as "earnest money" and is not the same as the deposit. It will be held in a special "escrow"  account until settlement.


Get a home inspections and appraisal

You hire a home inspector to perform a comprehensive inspection of the house in order to identify any problems that might cause you to rethink purchasing it. Think about mold, asbestos, termites, a faulty foundation, etc. Sure, a lot can go wrong, but most problems are fixable. 

Your lender will want to do a home appraisal even if you were pre-approved for a mortgage. Here, the lender performs an evaluation to determine whether the house is a wise investment. It's like having your lender do a cursory home inspection.

You may request major defects found at the home inspection be repaired prior to closing by the seller and negotiate how those items will be handled.   Normally done by the seller, these items may be negotiated to either party to fix.

Additionally, the appraiser may request items to be repaired as a condition of receiving the appraised value. Unlike inspection fixes, which can be waived, the appraiser will need to confirm that the corrections have been made prior to approval of the loan.


Final Walk Through - What It Is and Why It's Important

Final walk through

An extremely important step is the final walk through of the home.  This is to ensure that the inspection corrections have been made and that the house is in the same condition as it was at the time the contract was executed. Ideally, you take this step with enough time prior to closing that any issues can be resolved prior to settlement.


Head to closing

Closing in Delaware is conducted by a real estate attorney.  The attorney has reviewed the home file for any potential risks to the buyer.  These could include clear title, a clean survey, money has been received to pay required disbursements and other items that can become a new owner's problem if not resolved. Buyers and sellers will sign appropriate documents and the keys are given to the new owners.


How to Pack and Load a Moving Truck

Move in
Congratulations, you are now a homeowner! Move your stuff from where it was to your new home.  Make sure to update the locks, security systems, utilities and start taking care of your new home. This process normally takes about 2 months but can vary longer or shorter depending on your method of payment and availability of houses that fit your needs.


Posted by


Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Home ownership continues to provide the best pathway to family wealth.

Jun 05, 2024 07:46 AM