3 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers
Buying your first home can be incredibly exciting, but it can also be stressful, especially when you don't know what to expect. Your first home purchase is a very big financial investment, so it is a good idea to be as prepared as possible. If you're planning to buy your first house in the near future, use the following tips to help ensure that the process goes smoothly:
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A lot of first-time buyers get confused by the terms pre-qualified and pre-approved in regards to mortgages. Pre-qualified means that a lender believes that you are a good candidate for a loan based on the financial information that you provided, but it does not guarantee you a loan. On the other hand, getting pre-approved for a mortgage requires submitting a lot of documents and having your application go through underwriting; if you are approved you will know exactly how much you can borrow and what interest rate you will pay on your loan. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential; doing so will help you set a budget you are comfortable with.
Have a List of Needs vs. Wants
Most first time buyers do not have the budget to purchase their dream home that has every amenity and feature that they have ever wanted; in many cases concessions will need to be made. It can be very helpful to sit down and make a list of things that you absolutely need in a home, and then list things that you would like to have. For example, based on your family size you may need a certain number of bedrooms, and you may want a finished basement but it won't be a deal breaker if you find a great house that does not have one. Making this type of list in advance can be very helpful for your real estate agent, and it will allow him or her to better search for homes to show you.
Work with a Real Estate Agent You Trust
Your real estate agent can make a huge difference in your first experience buying a home. It is a good idea to work with someone who specializes in working as a buyers agent, as this will ensure that he or she has experience negotiating on the behalf of a buyer. Choose an agent who is helpful and available for phone calls and emails-- it is not uncommon to have a lot of questions when buying your first home.
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