If you are thinking of purchasing your first home it’s never too soon to get started with a plan. It’s very important your plan is in place and you’re on the right track. Too many newbies in the market and making offers on homes that they are not qualified to buy. I have put together an easy guide to follow for getting started so you don’t find yourself in hot water with a seller.
Your first step should be to find a mortgage professional like myself to help you determined the best type of mortgage loan and the amount you can afford based on your personal financial situation. The mortgage professional can also help you review your credit report and history. It’s important to do this early on so if there are any errors they can be disputed and removed. It’s important to note that 80% of American’s have errors on their credit report and clearing them up can take a few months.
Once you are ready your mortgage pro will be able to give you a price range and you can go shopping. You can also figure out what type of home and area you can afford, this should help you speed up the process. Fine tuning your search will save time. Most buyers start their search online, researching neighborhoods, home and agents. There are several good sites like Realtor.com and Zillow you can explore and narrow down your search or check with your local Board of Realtors for information.
Your next step is finding a good Realtor. My advice, would be to ask family and friends who they would recommend or your mortgage professional. It’s important you work with someone who has experience with first time homebuyers. A no-pressure and lots of patience agent. You will be high maintenance your first time, trust me on this one and it takes a special kind of agent to work with you. Interview several agents in the area you wish to purchase and choose one that is willing to go the extra mile with you. You’ll know soon enough if the agent you choose is the right one for you. If not move on but it’s important you don’t bounce around from one agent to the next and back again. Once you find a good agent hang on and be a loyal client, they work hard and only get paid when you close your purchase.
Open Houses are a great opportunity to explore and walk through some homes that are for sale. Meet the agents that represent the sellers and get information about the area, schools and parks. If you go without your agent be sure to tell the on-site agent you have a Realtor working for you, so there is no confusion about your representation.
Now that you have a mortgage pro and a Realtor working for you, you need to trust in their knowledge and experience and listen to their advice. I am not saying you should trust blindly by all means do your research and educate yourself. They too should be helping to educate you along the way. Purchase offers are done differently depending on the market you are in and your professionals are your best ally to negotiating the best price and seller concessions. Many markets are seeing multiple offers and buyers losing out to more sophisticated investor buyers. Your agent is your professional negotiator looking out for your best interests. Most Realtors do this well so listen to their advice but understand you make the final decision when it comes to your offer and contract provisions.
Remember how important this process is and start early, understand that your decisions will affect you for years to come, buying a home is a long term investment in most cases. Get as much information about the house before you make an offer. Buying a home in most cases will be your biggest lifetime investment so do it wisely and without rushing through the process.
Be sure to follow my blog for more information, my next article post will be Five Mistakes most commonly made by First-Time Homebuyers.
Thank you for stopping by and please leave your questions or comments I’d love to hear from you.
If you are interested in my FREE mortgage coaching here is a link for more information. You will learn a wealth of information to prepare you for your journey to homeownership.
ACMC Loan Consultant
Certified Mortgage Coach