TOP 10 TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS

TOP 10 TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS

So it’s almost a new year, and you’re ready to say goodbye to your renting days and hello to homeowner haven. But where do you begin? That part can be daunting and confusing, so we’ve compiled these Top 10 Tips to help make your first-time home buying process a smooth and successful one:

  1. Know your needs
    First examine your lifestyle, and figure out what type of locale you see yourself settling in. Urban, suburban, rural? Urban areas often provide great social, cultural and career opportunities, within a bustling city backdrop. Perhaps you’d prefer a rural landscape, with more privacy and space to roam the outdoors? Or maybe a suburban city would be ideal to raise a family and connect with your local community? Think about the lifestyle you’d like to make a home in, and narrow down which neighborhoods you’d like to consider. Drive around and visit those neighborhoods at various times of the day/week…explore nearby grocery stores, schools, talk to the neighbors. Know your needs and do your research.
  2. Know what you can afford
    To make your search most effective, carefully examine your budget and what you can afford. There’s more to consider than just monthly payments: utilities, property taxes, homeowners insurance fees, homeowners association fees (if applicable), repairs, maintenance…it all adds up so be sure to account for all costs before deciding if becoming a homeowner is right for you.
  3. Identify your potential downpayment
    Do you have 20% of your target purchase price available for a downpayment? That’s often considered the industry norm, but there are other options available. There are a variety of loan programs for various credit levels, for those who cannot afford a significant downpayment. Some mortgage programs have loans that offer a 3.5% or even zero downpayment option for veterans and active military. It’s important to note, however, that most loans that offer less than 20% down have additional insurance premiums that will add to the monthly payment.
  4. Find a local Buyer’s Agent
    A Buyer’s Agent (or Buyer’s Broker) represents the buyer’s needs and helps you locate the property that best fits your what you’re looking for. It’s best to find a local agent who has extensive experience in that neighborhood–that way they have insight into local taxes, schools and new developments, as well as the fair market value for the homes you’re considering. Doing this will help alleviate any uncertainties or stress, and make the buying process much more efficient.
  5. Get credit ready
    Buying a home may be one of the largest financial decisions you’ll ever make. Be prepared. Get a copy of your current credit report, identify any discrepancies, and get them fixed — if possible — before you talk to a lender. You can also look up your credit score ahead of time for free from Credit Karma.
  6. Hit pause on any large credit card purchases
    Avoid taking out any loans or adding significant debt to credit lines before you try to purchase a home. Large purchases, such as a car loan or lease, may impact your debt-to-income ratio. Changes to this number may affect your ability to qualify for the loan amount you require.
  7. Meet with a Lender
    This is one of the most important steps: meet with a lender to get a mortgage loan. You can’t really buy a home without one (unless you purchase it outright!) Borrowers with a high credit score (720+) can shop around for the lowest interest rate, and get a conventional loan. Those with lower credit scores (640-) may have a higher interest rate on their loan due to the larger liability for the lender, but there are still many great options available. We recommend contacting Scott Groves for a trust-worthy, well-experienced lender to help you.
  8. Demand full disclosure and a professional home inspection.
    Now you’ve found a home you’re interested in, it’s important you demand full disclosure from the seller. While most states require the home seller to disclose any potential problems with the property, they may not always know or reveal existing structural problems.The only way to truly know what’s going on inside a home’s structure is to secure the services of a reputable home inspector. Expect to pay $300-600 for the inspection. It seems steep, but consider the thousands it could save you if the home isn’t up to code or has major issues.
  9. Get it down in writing
    The best way to truly protect yourself legally is to get every detail of the sale in writing. Also it’s important you understand every aspect of the commitment–learn your real estate terminology and asks lots of questions before signing the agreement.
  10. Purchase homeowners insurance
    Once you’ve made sure the title is clear and there are no problems with you taking on ownership, make sure to purchase homeowner’s insurance. If something happens to your home or your belongings, it’s now your responsibility to take care of it–not your landlord or management company. Shop around at least 3 insurance companies, and make sure you’re not just getting the best price, but also the best value and coverage.Now you know the Top 10 Tips every First-time Home Buyer should know.  Now get out there and start shopping for your new home!Buying
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    Original content provided by HGTV and Housing Wire.

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44 Comments

  1. Olivia Nelson - September 13, 2016

    I like your tip on considering more than just the mortgage payment when buying a home. I agree that you would also need to consider things like utilities and maintenance. My husband and I are looking for a home so we’ll have to remember to keep these extra things in our budget when we deal with pricing.

  2. Jade Brunet - October 6, 2016

    I appreciate this article about the things a first time home buyer should know. It is good to learn that finding a local buyer’s agent is a wise move. Finding someone with extensive experience would be highly beneficial. Something else to consider would be to search properties to decide where you want to move.

  3. Jalu Sakti - October 21, 2016

    I like that you talked about making sure your budget allows for the home you want. With so many other things to pay for besides just the monthly payment, it really takes a lot of planning to make sure all of these fees can be taken care of. I think a lot of first-time buyers don’t take those things into account, and it really can make things difficult later on. We are, in fact, looking for our second home, right now, and these are still things that we are struggling to keep track of. Maybe a good real estate agent could help us figure the pricing out.

  4. Danni Black - January 11, 2017

    I really like your tip about making sure that you get your credit ready when it comes to buying a home. My husband and I have been wanting to talk with a real estate agent for a while now. I think that these tips will be really helpful in getting us into our first home quickly and smoothly, thank you for sharing!

  5. Bernard Clyde - February 1, 2017

    Buying a new home can be an intimidating experience! I like that you stressed the importance of gauging out what you can put for a down payment as well as how much you can afford to pay monthly for utilities and bills together. Sometimes we can get overly focused on one or the other which can cause issues down the road staying up on payments or hurting your credit.

  6. Mark David - February 19, 2017

    Nice tips for new people who are looking to buy new home.

  7. jresquival - February 23, 2017

    That’s good to know that 20% of the purchase price is a usual down payment. I guess the market prefers people having that money to make the mortgage less risky. I guess I’ll have to start saving, since I’m trying to move out.

  8. lenny strin - February 26, 2017

    Your tips for buying new home is nice it’ll help me i am searching for new house.

  9. Scott - March 2, 2017

    I appreciate that you point out to avoid making any large credit card purchases. I can see why this might affect your ability to get approved for a loan. I am thinking about buying a house in the next year or so. I’ll have to start thinking of the things I will need and start buying them slowly over time.

  10. Silas Knight - March 14, 2017

    Thanks for the great tips for home buying! My wife and I have never bought a home before, but I think it’s time for us to start looking. I definitely agree that we need to agree on our needs, and write them down. That would narrow down our choices a lot, I would think.

  11. Maurice C - March 24, 2017

    I find this 10 tips for first time home buyers really useful for everyone. In buying a new home there just so many things to consider. Remember buying a home involves your hard earned money and you don’t want to regret it in the future when you feel not satisfied. You have to know your budget, get insurance and many more. If you need more tips please visit Conveyancer Adelaide .

  12. Ron Dayley - April 3, 2017

    Good solid advice.

    I tell my clients when comparing mortgage rates, look at everything and make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

    I had a client get an interest rate from a lender who “specializes” in military home buyers and when we compared the rates, they were .02% lower in interest rates but the monthly payments were almost $200 a month more with all their fees and add ons.

  13. Ernest London - May 15, 2017

    I appreciate these tips for buying a home. My wife and I really want to buy our first home this year, but we don’t really know where to start. I like that you said to make a good budget so you can determine exactly how much you can afford to pay. That could be a really good starting point for us, so we will give it a try!

  14. Tomas Killington - May 23, 2017

    My sister is a first time home buyer. She is looking for professional advice to make sure she makes the right choice. I didn’t realize how important it is to determine what your down payment will be to help you determine what loan programs you will be qualified for. I’ll be sure to share this info with my sister.

  15. John - June 1, 2017

    It’s good to know that I could potentially save a lot of money if I elect to get a home inspection done prior to purchasing a house. The article says that you could save up to thousands if the home has underlying issues or isn’t up to code. I’ll be sure to do this since I definitely want to make sure my first home buying experience is a successful one.

  16. Afton Jackson - June 20, 2017

    I didn’t realize that getting your credit ready can help you make sure you don’t have any issues when dealing with lenders. My sister will be in the market for a home soon. She should be able to use these tips to get into her dream home.

  17. Lauren Jones - July 26, 2017

    I am so proud of my husband for completing dental school, and now we are looking to buy our first home. It is good to know that before looking, one should know what they can afford. I like what was said about how one needs to consider utilities, property taxes, homeowner insurance, repairs, and maintenance. We will keep this in mind as we start working with our realtor.

  18. Roger Middleton - August 14, 2017

    My wife and I have been looking into moving out of our apartment and we’ve been looking around the area for a new home. I really liked your tip about avoiding taking out a new loan because that could cause us not to qualify for the loan we’re looking for. I’ll have to put buying a new car on hold for the time being and make sure I qualify for the loan first.

  19. Jen Pack - September 6, 2017

    My husband and I are getting ready to start looking for our first home after living in apartments for the first few years of our marriage. I like how you point out that before you start looking, it is important to know what your needs are. Like you pointed out, it is important to consider the type of lifestyle you want to have and search for homes that fit that lifestyle. We’ll be sure to keep all these things in mind!

  20. Ernest London - September 12, 2017

    Thanks for mentioning that you should be prepared to buy a home by having a good credit score and keeping good track of it. That way, you can ensure that you will qualify for a good mortgage. My wife and I want to buy our first home this year, so we are trying to figure out where to start. I will make sure to keep this in mind.

  21. Scott Adams - September 27, 2017

    I like that you talked about finding an agent that has experience in the area you want to live in. I have been looking for a new home because I’m getting married soon. I can see how it would be good to find a local agent, because they would know what school is best for your kids.

  22. Steele - September 28, 2017

    I liked that you say that it is better to find a local agent who will help you to find a perfect house as they know the area and can advise you about different options. Finally, I have enough money to buy a house and as I am not an expert in this sphere I’d like a professional to help me to choose a home. Hopefully, I will get one by the end of this year!

  23. Derek Dewitt - October 3, 2017

    My wife and I are wanting to buy our first home together but we aren’t sure where to start. I like that you suggest getting insurance for the home in case something happens to your belongings or property. We’ll have to shop around and find at least 3 companies to compare like you said. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Larry Weaver - October 11, 2017

    I appreciate the tip to get credit ready and prepare a copy of your current credit report. My wife and I are trying to get ready to start looking at homes for sale, and we could definitely start to identify any discrepancies with our credit. We’ll also be sure to meet with a lender to get a mortgage loan.

  25. aashi - October 16, 2017

    Loved your article very much. i am planning to buy a home next month these tips are very helpful for me,Thank you for sharing.

  26. Spencer Montgomery - October 17, 2017

    First time home buyers here! And, we’re so glad to have found your helpful post. I like your 8th tip to demand full disclosure and a professional home inspection. It’s good to have transparency and visibility when it comes to this matter because buying a house is an important and big decision. We’ll take note of these tips!

  27. Amanda Drew - October 26, 2017

    That’s a good idea to make sure you ask a lot of questions and learn real estate terminology. It seems as if it would really be helpful. My husband and I are tired of renting, and we want to be firmly settled before we start our family. We’ll have to use your tips as we look for homes for sale.

  28. Jack Duff - November 14, 2017

    I like that you mentioned to make sure you get a copy of your credit report and do everything you can to get it in good shape. That way, you can be prepared to get a good loan when the time comes. I want to buy a home soon, so I have been looking for tips to do it right. I will definitely start with this, thanks a lot for sharing.

  29. Silas Knight - November 16, 2017

    You have some great tips for home buying. I love how you said to meet with a lender to get a mortgage loan. My wife and I will start looking for one to meet with because we want to buy a home soon. Good thing we have great credit scores!

  30. Derek Dewitt - November 20, 2017

    My wife and I are wanting to get our first home together next year, but we aren’t sure where to start. I like that you suggest finding out how much you can afford by including factors like insurance fees and property taxes into your budget. We’ll have to take some time to add up all these costs and find out if buying a home is right for us.

  31. Roger Middleton - November 29, 2017

    My fiance and I are getting ready to move out of our apartment and into a home together. I liked that you had mentioned that it can be important to examine your budget and figure out all costs associated with a home to find the price you can afford. We’ll have to start doing some research into our budget and then we’ll be able to start looking at homes for sale that fall within our budget.

  32. Callum Palmer - December 27, 2017

    It really does pay off in the long run to get credit ready ahead of time. After all, as is pointed out, buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. Because this is the case however, you need to make sure that you have your credit score in order so that you can get the loans you need to buy the home.

  33. Persephone de Vito - January 2, 2018

    It truly got my attention when you said that having a buyer’s agent is good because they represent the buyer’s needs and makes sure to find the property that fits what they are looking for. I guess that’s the reason why my husband was firm on getting a buyer’s agent when I told him that we should buy a house for ourselves. A house is a very large investment, so it’s only reasonable that he wants to make the right choice. Thank you for sharing.

  34. Deb Pearl - March 1, 2018

    I really would love to buy a home, but I have no idea what I am doing. Thank you for all the home buying tips! I really like your tip about making sure to account for all the costs before deciding if I can buy a home or not. It would be important to take into consideration utilities, taxes, and other costs of owning a home. I will have to make sure I can afford it.

  35. Bernard Button - March 8, 2018

    These are good tips for buying a home for the first time. I love how you said to sit down and carefully decide on how much we can afford. My wife and I are both impulse buyers, so this is something we’ll have to be careful about.

  36. Tammy Houston - March 12, 2018

    It was really helpful when you suggested deciding on the kind of neighborhood that will suit my needs and lifestyle prior to going househunting so that I know exactly what to look for. That is a good tip that will work well for me as I am looking for a new home to live in right now. Since I am the type of person who prefers to stay indoors and read, I think I will be good in a quiet suburban neighborhood. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Ellie Davis - March 19, 2018

    I like your suggestion on getting every detail of the sale in writing to ensure you are safe legally. I am wanting to move from my small apartment into my first home. The fear of doing this on my own has surfaced recently and I think it would be best if I got a realtor to help make this process as smooth as possible.

  38. Mani - May 17, 2018

    thanks for sharing you r wonderful tips

  39. James Lee Tucker - June 7, 2018

    It’s good that you pointed out finding a local agent who has extensive experience in the neighborhood where your prospective house is. My wife and I are looking for a bigger house after having our fourth child. As it is important to us that the house is close to basic services, we’ll look for a real estate agent who knows well the neighborhood of our potential house.

  40. amol joshi - August 5, 2018

    Thank you for sharing this information. Buying a home is an exciting and complex adventure. It can also be a very time-consuming and costly one if you’re not familiar with all aspects of the process and don’t have all the best information and resources at hand.

  41. Airbnb Management - September 19, 2018

    Thanks for sharing such handy and easy to follow steps for the first time home buyers. This is such a helpful one.

  42. Edison Maclane - September 19, 2018

    I liked it when you said that the person needs to verify and check their credit scores before talking to a lender as well as clearing any discrepancies. Apparently, if there is something wrong with the score, the loan can end up being denied. I do not want that as I really want a house. Well, since it has been a while since I last checked my report, I might as well do it now.

  43. Taylor Bishop - November 5, 2018

    Thanks for this advice for buying a home. I’m glad that you mentioned you should try to really examine your budget and how all the factors of monthly payments and fees will go into it. It also seems like a great way to determine how much you may need to start saving, depending on what you can afford or not.

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