Preparing to Buy Your First Home
Congratulations! You’re ready to make the big leap into home ownership!
Buying your first home can be a daunting task, full of fits and starts as you figure out how to prioritize your wants vs. needs, understand your financing options, and make sure you get the most home for your money.
Here are some tips to help you prepare to make one of the biggest – and best – investments of your life:
Set a Budget
When looking at potential properties, it can be easy to get caught up in all the great features of various homes you’re looking at. But all those features come at a cost – and sometimes they’re way out of your comfort zone.
Talk to a lender and decide how much you actually can afford in a home or property. That budget may mean you have to make some tough decisions, but you’re better off setting a number up front than getting surprised down the road.
Once you’ve decided how much home you can afford, get pre-qualified for a mortgage amount before you start seriously looking. If you’re pre-qualified, it will make the whole process much smoother, as you, your lender, and the seller will all know whether a loan will go through once an offer is accepted.
Talk to your lender about the process for pre-qualifying, and keep the pre-qualification paperwork with you when you go for home showings.
Do Some Window Shopping
Even before you’re fully ready to buy, take a look at what’s available in your area. Look at online listings, or attend some open houses in a neighborhood you’d like to buy in. This can give you a good idea of what to expect in pricing, see what’s available on the market, and help you manage expectations when you do start shopping seriously.
Hire a Realtor
Buyer’s representation is FREE; the Realtor’s fee comes out of the selling price of any property you purchase. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, it’s best to have someone experienced and knowledgeable on your side and working in your “Best Interest”.
Know the Process
Understanding the home-buying process is important to managing your expectations and making sure you don’t miss steps. Knowing how much you can afford, what your local market looks like, and other details lets you make a faster decision when that perfect house crosses your path.
Think about the Future
You may be just two people now, but in 5 years you could have a child and a couple of pets. That one-bedroom home may work great now, but you may be bursting at the seams before you know it.
Expert Realtor for First-Time Home Buyers
Are you ready to buy your first home? I’m Diane, and I’ve helped hundreds of first-time homebuyers throughout central Maryland over the years, and I can put my more than three decades as a Realtor to work for you.