1) Get pre-approved with a qualified, experienced lender. Don't simply focus on the total amount they will lend you, also consider what that will be in a monthly payment then include an approximate amount for taxes and insurance. You may qualify for more than you want to spend or that is comfortable for your budget.
Ask about the required downpayment and estimted closing costs. While you may be able to negotiate the seller to pay some of these, you also need to have enough funds in case they don't. Let your Realtor (c) know you will need to negotiate for closing cost.
2) Find a Realtor (c) that works with first-time homebuyers. Someone who is willing to work at your pace, and explain the process, and answer all of your questions.
3) Understand that "THE" perfect house, may not be out there and that you will need to compromise. So prioritize your criteria (must have vs. would like to have).
4) Have vision. Be able to see what a fresh coat of paint, new carpet, or another type of cosmetic fix can do to help a home shine.
5) A home inspection should be done. The inspector's job is to find things wrong, so don't be intimidated or turned off when they come back with a list of items. Get the list broken out by safety or required repairs, vs. need to consider, or future items, or just fyi.
6) Everyone wants to feel that they got "a deal." However, if your offer is unrealistic / too low based on the competition, you may lose the home to a competing offer or simply be turned down. Ask your agent to provide you with comps for the market on similar homes in that area. The ultimate offer is your decision, but look at the facts to make a decision.
Good luck with your house hunting. For additional assistance, please contact me 540-659-3636.
Sun Realty - fxbg
Understand your budget and what factors will change in the coming years..Many can over buy and over extend their budget and some can underbuy and need to move again sooner than later. If you know your income will go up you can factor it in.
Employ a Real Estate Professional..don't feel obligated to use some unqualified agent you met at an open house or they just happened to pick up the phone when you called about a property. Look for and understand the extras some agents have done..and their experience. How long have they been in real estate, how much are they selling NOW..and do they like working with first time buyers.
These agents will help you avoid the pitfalls of incompetence...which unfortunately is prevalent in our industry.
Erik J. Weisskopf, ABR,CDPE,CRS,GRI
Re/Max Distinctive Real Estate
The next step is to sit down with a lender and find out how much he would qualify for. He may qualify for more than he allowed for housing, in that case he should buy based on what he is comfortable with and not the higher mortgae because the lender does not know his life style.
Then he should ask friends / family who purchased a home for referral to a good agent if they liked their agent. If they do not know anyone , buyers should interview 3 agents and choose one to work with.
Buyers should know that they will not find everything they want in a house at the price they are qualified for and should make a list of most important things they want in the house.
The agent will guide them and help negotiate the price when they find the right house. They should realize that it is difficult to find a home that is pennies on the dollar . In some areas prices have already started going up so if you are waiting for prices to come down further you will be disappointed.
Another tip is to have a home inspection and to buy a home warranty if the seller is not offering it. First try to ask the seller to pay for the warranty when you make the offer.Once you get pre approved for a loan do not spend on large items, pay your bills on time and do not do anything that will chage your financial picture. It will affect your loan.
Tip #2 - get pre approved with a reputable, local lender (and refer back to tip #1, and that agent can hook you up with the best lender to get you rolling!)
Tip #3 - Start looking and ListingBook is a great way to start!
Tip #4 - Contact me for more Tip!
I'd LOVE to assist you, so please know you can call me any time! 703.919.7761
I LOVE first-time home buyers! Why? They listen, they're fun because they're so excited, and I get to do more hand-holding, guiding along the way, which I really enjoy !