Top Tips For First Time Home Buyers

Being a first time home buyer finding home buying tips when purchasing your first home you should seek out any you can find and use them to your advantage.

When you've decided to buy your first home it shouldn’t be a problem, but an exciting journey into homeownership.

Purchasing your first home will probably be the largest purchase you've ever made.

The fact that you’re buying a home for the first time can lead to a lot of emotions including excitement, anticipation, and anxiety.

Sometimes, it may be impossible to eliminate the stress that comes with purchasing your first home. But, you can definitely minimize it by going into the home buying process educated and prepared.

If there is one piece of information I can give you, above all others is to do your research and follow reliable information as it applies to you and your situation, so that your first home buying experience is a great one.  Let these tips for buying your first home be your guide to a less stressful real estate transaction!

Our first home buying tip is going to be that you not rely on family or friends to know everything about purchasing real estate and making important decisions for you!

When you are ready to buy your first home, you are most likely going to get advice from lots of people including family and friends.

Most of them have already been there and done it so you can expect that they would like to lend a helping hand.

But, keep in mind that probably most of the people who are giving you advice on one the largest purchase you will probably be making have only purchased one or two homes in their lives and, buying a couple of homes in their lives does not make them real estate experts.

So, when it comes to the difficult decisions, you should always rely on a professional who will be involved in the transaction including your mortgage broker, attorney, REALTOR®, insurance agent, and home inspector.

Your family and friends have great intentions to help you, but there are times where we've seen some of the worst advice you can imagine given to first time home buyers by family or friends.

Be Specific About What You Want In Your Home

Be sure to have a general idea about the type of home you would like to purchase. You could be in the market for a million-dollar home, small starter home, or a simple condo purchase. Regardless of how much you can afford, it's worth the time to spend and to think about what you really want.

How much you can afford compared to others does not matter. Buying a home will probably be your most significant expenditure thus far in life, and it is important that you get what you want out of it.

First, decide on basics things like the neighborhood you want to be in, the size of the home, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you want. It is reasonable to be more detailed than this, though, these are just some basic ideas to get you started.

Other things to consider are things that you care about – for instance, a garage for working on your car, a playroom for children, a large patio for entertaining, or even a pool. Personal choices are important as well.

Making a list of what you want and prioritizing makes it easier to recognize it when you find it. It will be unlikely you will get everything you dream of having, but you will be happier with your purchase if it fits your wants and needs.

When meeting with a Realtor for the first time, they should be asking you what your top considerations are for your new home purchase and taking those into consideration when searching for homes for you to view.

Giving your Realtor an accurate picture of what you hope to achieve with your new home purchase will make the process of finding your new home much more comfortable.

Get A Mortgage Pre-Approval

Another extremely important first time home buying tip is to get your finances in order!

You shouldn't start looking for homes until you know exactly how much you been pre-approved for, so you know how much you have to spend. Your idea of what you think you will qualify for may be accurate, and then it may not be.

Find out what your maximum loan amount is and think about how you want to use that money.

One of the first things you should do when setting out to buy your first home is to get pre-approved for a mortgage and you can do so using our mortgage app! Keep in mind that there is a distinct difference between getting a pre-approval and getting pre-qualification.

A pre-qualification letter may help you to see how much you can afford to pay each month towards a mortgage payment, however, it doesn’t do much to solidify your position as a potential home buyer and when it comes time for you to submit a purchase offer on a property you fell in love with, the seller and the seller's real estate agent are most likely going to want you to be pre-approved with a lender, prior to accepting your offer!

A knowledgable real estate agent or seller is not going to accept a pre-qualification letter as it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, there are lenders who write pre-qualification letters all day long, without really knowing if you will be pre-approved for a mortgage or not. The only real way a seller is going to have some assurance, that you will get the mortgage loan is by providing them with a copy of your pre-approval letter.

This provides the seller peace of mind, knowing that you are pre-approved for a mortgage, especially when you are competing with other buyers, and this is one of the best tips for buying your first home.

Getting a pre-approval from a mortgage lender is also for your peace of mind too. You might be able to only afford $175,000 when you wanted $250,000. You might also qualify for $1,000,000 – but can you afford to keep a million-dollar home in good repair?

Just remember, getting a mortgage is definitely a large part of buying your first home, but keep in mind that it is only part of the home-buying expenses. You will still have taxes, insurance, purchasing furniture, and other household items that can add up pretty quickly.


Look Rigorously For Potential Homes

It's important to make sure that you do some home-buying research before making a final decision on your home purchase. Your real estate agent will be able to help you significantly with finding the perfect first home for you.

Still, it is worthwhile for you to do your home searching using as many avenues as you can think of – some ideas include driving around your favorite neighborhoods and searching for for-sale signs, searching for listings online, also letting your family, friends, and co-workers know you are searching for a home. The reason is, is because you never know where the perfect home will come from.

A lot of buyers like going out and looking at Real Estate open houses before actually committing to a real estate agent. Doing this allows you to freely view homes at your own leisure, typically on a Saturday or Sunday. When you've decided that you are ready to seriously start looking at homes, it’s highly advisable that you seek out an experienced & knowledgable real estate agent to work with you!

Hire A Great Real Estate Agent

Another first time home buyer tip I can give you is to hire a skillful Real Estate agent, as not all real estate agents are created equal! You shouldn't have to go through the home buying process by yourself.

There is a multitude of reasons why you should hire an experienced Realtor, some things include gaining access to the best available homes on the market, along with having a professional working daily to find the house you want, and having an agent on your side when it comes to negotiations on your new home.

Having a professional real estate agent in your corner is going to be very beneficial to you as a first time homebuyer. Again, some real estate agents are far more motivated and skilled than others, so you need to screen agents before choosing yours.

Landing a great real estate agent means that you should be interviewing several Realtors, getting current references, and taking a strong look at their history of home sales. You'll want to make sure you have an agent that has a history of helping people in situations similar to your own situation.

Hiring a Realtor® is essential. You'll want someone on your side who will be fighting for you every step of the way in the home buying process. Finding an agent who gives you an exceptional home buying experience will be hard if you just choose a random agent without doing your research.

Be Sure To Make The Right Offer

Be sure that you have an understanding of local home values! Negotiation of a home sale is an art, and is not something learned in a day. This is part of why you search for an agent that sets reasonable goals for their clients and tends to obtain those goals.

You'll want a Realtor® who also understands the area market and what a home is truly worth and can argue the value points reliably. There are a number of things that can give you an edge when negotiating on a home, and they can range from pet damage to home appliances. The issue is knowing just how those things could affect the home's value.

An experienced buyer’s agent is going to be looking out for your interests in the purchase of the home. The best buyer's agents will try to make sure you are paying fair market value or below for the home you are thinking of purchasing. If you get a feeling you are working with an agent who is more concerned about their pockets and not yours, get rid of them fast.

Real estate agents who put themselves before you as a client are not the type of agent you want in your corner when it comes time for negotiations on your new home purchase. I tell people all the time the best real estate agents are not worried about where their next sale is coming from.

A real estate agent who needs a sale is going to give you different advice on your home purchase than one that doesn’t. Definitely, keep that in mind when looking for real estate agents! Again, as a first time home buyer, it is important to understand that not all real estate agents are created equally.

Make Sure You Listen to The Home Inspector

Another important first time home buyer tip is to find a well-respected home inspector! If a seller accepts your purchase offer on a new home, then the next step is going to be a thorough home inspection.

A good home inspector will look over the entire property thoroughly and determine if there are any issues with the home, as well as anything out of the ordinary you should be aware of.

Depending on the circumstances and the mortgage product you use, it might be possible you will be required to have a few more inspections done besides the general home inspection. An example is with a VA loan they require a termite inspection by a VA Approved Pest Control Company.

You should listen very carefully to the inspector and what he has to say about the home even if you are head over heels in love with it. Serious problems with the home can quickly ruin any excitement you would get out of your new purchase and could turn your dream home into a nightmare.

Pretty much every home, even if it is a brand new home might have some issues. It is very rare to find a flawless house. The job of the home inspector is to find any problems with the home for you.

Remember, just like real estate agents or any other profession there are some excellent home inspectors and then there are some that are not so great. Just like Real Estate agents, home inspectors have a couple of roles –  one is doing their job of discovering any defects with the home and then communicating those problems found to you as the home buyer.

I have encountered some excellent home inspectors who are very thorough when doing their job and find 99% of what they should be discovered when inspecting a home. However, there are some, that are really bad at communicating.

Sharing the inspection result about a home to a first time home buyer is different than sharing the results with someone who has bought multiple houses.

Many home inspectors have great intentions when presenting the results of the home inspection, to a first-time homebuyer, but some don’t realize that everything they say is handled like it’s the gospel. How the home inspection results are presented to a first-time buyer is critical.

I have seen on multiple occasions where the home inspector has delivered the results of discovered issues with a home and has made the home buyer feel uncomfortable enough to want to back out of the sale! I am not talking about major problems with the home, but things that are common issues found in many homes.

Some home inspectors just don’t care – there is a small minority of them that don’t mind if you were to back out of the purchase because they want you to call them back for your inspection on the next home. While this is not a common practice because the majority of home inspectors are professionals, it is something to keep in the back of your mind.

An experienced & knowledgable real estate agent will more than likely point out to you whether the inspector has gone overboard.

If there are some problems and they are not complete deal-breakers your agent will let you know what the next step will be and if there are some significant repairs, you should be able to renegotiate the price of the sale or figure out some sort of compromise with the seller.

Be A Levelheaded First Time Homeowner

The last tip I will leave with you is to be levelheaded when you're purchasing your new home. Once you have closed on your new home and moved into it you may feel like all your work is done. However, it is important to remember that you are just getting started in the life of homeownership.

If you were renting prior to purchasing your first home your landlord covered repair expenses, now those repairs expenses will be yours to bear. Having these new costs can be quite a shock to some people if you are not prepared for them.

One thing to do after your new home purchase is to start saving for home maintenance repairs immediately, so that that you are prepared if you need items like a hot water heater or Air Conditioner. Your home should last several lifetimes if properly maintained. If general maintenance around the house is ignored, you could end up finding yourself losing out on your investment.

Always, take care of general maintenance and always keep a backup fund for emergency repairs should they arise, and you should be able to enjoy your home for years to come.

Also, always make sure to keep your home insured for an amount that will cover your loses in the event of a tragic event such as a hurricane or fire. By using the first time home buyer tips I gave you, you will increase your chances dramatically of having a smooth and pleasant Real Estate transaction.

More Tips and Resources For First Time Home Buyers:

Use these additional resources to help you make a sound decisions when buying your first home.

Thinking of  Buying or Selling a home in Sarasota, Manatee or Charlotte County area of Florida?  Contact The Larson Team today!

We service the following areas in Florida: North Port, FL, Venice, FL,Port Charlotte, FL, Longboat Key, FL, Boca Grande, FL, Siesta Key, FL, Bradenton, FL, Sarasota, FL, Osprey, FL, Nokomis, FL,  Englewood, FL, Rotonda West, FL, Punta Gorda, FL,

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