- For starters, be realistic in regard to how much house can you afford and what type and condition. As a first time home buyer we many times have an image of what our dream home should be, but that may or may not be a realistic purchase at this point in your life or situation. Getting prequalified or preapproved (it depends on each lender practices) is the first step. And talking with a financial advisor can also help.
- Also keep in mind what are your own personal resources and expertise. For example, often times we tend to underestimate our likes or capabilities and end up buying a fixer-upper that could get us a bigger house. But if you are not up to the job of taking care of whatever details need attention you will be spending more money that is not at hand. Not to mention the disappointment of having a property that is depressing due to all it needs to be done and you are unable to do.
- Location, location, location. That too is a big factor for anybody buying a home. Home prices also vary due to the geographical place where they are. Is that a convenient location for you and your family, job, etc? Location also determines access to certain schools and neighborhood.
- Lastly, maintain great communication with all the parties involved in the decision making process, you, your significant other, etc. Compromise may be needed if more than one person is involved. Buy you knew that already. Right?
And of course, keep in high regards all the other comments/suggestions mentioned below by my colleagues Kevin Vitali, at al.
Congratulations for your decision to buy your home and good luck.
1- Not getting a good pre-approval up front, before ever looking at homes. There are many issues that can arise that can be flushed out with a good pre-approval.
2- Not understanding agency relationship. Understanding how an agent is working with you is vitally important. This also means taking the time to find a good buyer's agent.
3- Finding an exceptional home inspector. This is the last line of defense in making the most of your purchase. Don't price shop find the best inspector you can.
Don't be anxious, take the time and get educated and understand the process. Good professionals to help you are the key. Interview, get references and find a good agent, mortgage banker and home inspector.
* How complicated the buying process can be.
* closing costs.
* Inspection surprises
* Incompetent professionals surrounding the process: agents, mortgage brokers, lawyers, etc.
On the mortgage side there should be no suprises as closing costs are basically fixed at application. Make sure to follow up immediately with any request for paperwork by your lender or broker.
With enough planning you can amost float through the process with little or no stress.
Learn about benefits for first time home-buyer's, like tax benefits outlined here:
The biggest nominal surprise to home buyer's are closing costs. Here is an outline of what to expect:
Get pre approved before you start your search. The worst experience is finding a place you love and finding out you can't afford it.
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