You don’t learn about how to buy a house in school. They don’t teach you what you need to apply for a mortgage, what kind of loan you’ll need, or what PMI is (it’s called private mortgage insurance)
And let’s not mention that you need to shop around for the best deal — or you can hire somebody to do that for you.
So here are some First Home Buyer Tips to help guide you through the home buying experience.
BEFORE YOU START LOOKING
♦ Have a conversation with your significant other about what you’re looking for, what you need and what you can do without. Standing in the living room during an open house with your real estate agent isn’t the time to argue about wanting three bedrooms instead of four.
♦ Know your financial records. What’s your credit score? How much outstanding debt do you have? What monthly payment can you afford?
How much money did you make last year? You’re going to need to know all of this information. Have all of your paperwork ready to go.
♦ Know your limit — if you can’t afford a $450,000 house, don’t go look at $450,000 houses.
♦ Shop around. There are dozens of real estate agents, attorneys, and mortgage officers so don’t settle. These people are going to work for you, their job is to make you happy. You’re going to be on the phone and meeting with them frequently, so make sure you like who you’re working with.
♦ Do your research. When you do decide on a real estate agent, he or she is going to want to know what your price range is, what neighborhoods you’re interested in, if you want to be close to schools, expressways, public transportation, etc. Know what you want and Get Pre-Approved!
WHILE YOU’RE LOOKING
♦ This is the big one you’ll be glad someone told you about.
Don’t get too attached to a house, because if it the deal doesn’t work out, for whatever reason, you’re going to be devastated.
♦ Be willing to negotiate, it’s a big part of the game.
♦ This goes hand-in-hand with negotiating: put your foot down and don’t let anyone take advantage of you. If the seller is asking for way more than you’re told the house is worth, or if they’re not willing to fix something that is broken or at least negotiate the cost, you have to be ready to walk away. There will be more houses, trust me.
♦ Don’t just purchase a house by its listing. Go look at EVERYTHING. A lot of houses look different in person than they do on-line, good and bad.
I have the belief that anyone that deserves to own a home should be able to do so. The American Dream is still attainable for those buyers who do their homework, establish a game plan and work hard to achieve that goal. I’m here to help.