Mar 10, 2021

Top 10 Tips For First Time Home Buyers

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The sale of a home is often the largest and most important purchase a person may make in their lifetime, especially for first time home buyers. Although an exciting time, it can also be stressful when trying to navigate the ins and outs of an unfamiliar real estate territory. Let William Means guide you as we share our top 10 tips for first time home buyers.

Determine How Much House You Can Afford. As a first time home buyer, we recommend starting your journey by speaking with a financial advisor or lender to determine how much you can afford in housing expenses. Keep in mind this will include property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

Save For A Down Payment, Closing Costs & Emergency Fund. When working toward buying a home, it quickly becomes evident that it’s not all about the down payment. Consider that you will be submitting earnest money at the time of contract ratification and will likely negotiate closing costs with the Seller. Also plan to save for an emergency fund for any unexpected costs that may arise once you move into your new home.

Compare Mortgage Rates & Fees. Getting a lower interest rate could save you hundreds of dollars over a year of mortgage payments and thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage. The more lenders you speak with when comparing mortgage rates, the more likely you are to get a lower interest rate.

Get A Pre-Approval Letter. You will need to provide the Seller with this document on or before the loan commitment date to satisfy your financing contingency. Be cognizant that every loan commitment letter is unique and take care to read through the conditions of your letter.

Research Neighborhoods. If you’re not quite sure about the area you would like to live in, a great way to explore new neighborhoods and communities is to attend open houses. While agent open houses are typically held during the week during work hours, there are plenty of public open houses held on weekends.

Connect With A Real Estate Agent. William Means agents are among some of the best in the business. It is of the utmost importance to have someone in your corner with the knowledge and integrity that it takes to make the home buying process an enjoyable experience. Connecting with a real estate agent early on will be beneficial both to you as the Buyer as well as the Seller.

Start An Online Search. Once you have determined your top criteria for your future home, ask your agent to set up an online search for you. This way, homes will be sent directly to your email inbox so that you can be the first to know about properties as they hit the market.

Make An Offer. And now is the time to lean on your real estate agent! Review comparable sales and homes currently on the market to help determine your offer price, contingencies and timeline. Once you submit your offer, your seller will likely counter. The offer becomes a ratified contract once all parties have agreed on the terms and signed the documents.

The Final Walkthrough. Just prior to the actual closing, you will do a final walk through of your home to ensure that the home is in the same condition as when the contract was ratified and that the Seller completed any required repairs per the home inspection. If you would like, you can re-hire your inspector to check on any larger items that were part of the required repairs. Ideally, the final walk through is done after the Seller has vacated the home.

It’s Time To Close. Your closing attorney, lender and real estate agent will be in communication on a regular basis throughout the home buying process. You will arrange a specific time with your closing attorney for signing papers and will receive the final loan packet with your closing costs and wiring instructions.

Purchasing a home for the first time may seem like a monumental task but with the guidance of a knowledgeable real estate agent, and a little preparation, it is possible to have a smooth real estate transaction. Congratulations on the purchase of your first home!

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