What are some tips for first-time home buyers?

Asked by Trulia, San Francisco, CA Sun Mar 4, 2012

Can you share some of your top advice or tips for home buyers?

Help the community by answering this question:

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Lori Huey, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Mar 4, 2012
Get preapproved with your bank or ask for references from a Realtor.

Compare different types of loan to see which product is best for you.

If your a first time buyer ask for a lender that is well diversed in down payment assistance programs if you need help.

If you have children, look to see how the schools are rated.

Look at city of austin police or crime websites to see what is going on in the area that you like.
1 vote
William Frie…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Mar 4, 2012
First and foremost is talk with mortgage lenders to find where your credit score is situated. Then as previously said get pre-approved versus just getting pre-qualified. A big difference with some sellers particularly if you are thinking of buying a foreclosed or short sale property.
Secondly keep in mind that when you are not getting any financial assistance from the Seller on your Buyer Closing Costs you will need 3% of the purchase price for your closing costs. Also FHA requires a minimum of 3.5% down based on the purchase price. Only USDA and some VA loans offer zero percent down loans. These type loans are not available to everyone so that source of financing needs to be checked out.
Third, by all means get a property inspection, termite inspection, foundation inspection and / or septic system inspection and have all completed during your Purchase Option Period. The Option Period gives you the exclusive choice to withdraw your Contracted Offer and get your Earnest Money back.
Lastly, associate yourself with a Professional Real Estate Agent who will listen and work with you while looking at many properties until you find the one you like the best.

I am available at any time by phone or email.

Bill Friedrich

1 vote
MiMi Mallet, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Mar 4, 2012
Tips for 1st-time Home Buyers:

- absolutely, have a letter of pre-approval. the pre-approved letter has a powerful effect

- shop the on-line market, and prepare to interview agents based on three issues: how well she knows the
community surrounding the area of your interest, how well she knows the real estate market in that area, and
finally, and perhaps above all else, select the one you like best - trust your own instincts

- commit to keeping your calm, there's a lot to discover, and the adventure will be retold over the Holidays for
years, and, really forever - let your Agent lead in the process, because there's only one first time experience!

Have fun~
MiMi Mallet, REALTOR
1 vote
Freddy Ormand, , Austin, TX
Sun Mar 4, 2012
When you have been pre-approved by your lender, review your budget and decide on a maximum payment you will be comfortable with. Don't bet on a raise at your job. Then sit down and make a list of needs and wants. You might want granite, but you need a specific number of bedrooms. You should take location into account - it is the primary factor in determining the value of property.

When you have done these things, select a real estate professional who will agree to show you the things you need and want, in the area you wish to reside. Most buyers today are very proactive, choosing prospective homes from the multiple listings provided by their REALTOR. These searches are very specific, so be sure you limit your "wants" from your needs, in order to prevent elimination of many qualifying homes.

Know that the market moves bery quickly in some parts of town. If you are shopping there, you will need to "pull the trigger" before someone else buys the home you want. Your option period will provide the time you need to inspect and be sure you have chosen the right home. The option fee is a small loss if you decide the home is not right for you.

Choose an agent that is willing to show as many homes as it takes to find the right one for you.

Good luck, and happy home hunting!
1 vote
Steve Robert…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Mar 4, 2012
There are many! First and foremost find a great Realtor to walk you through the process. Buying your first home can be stressful, frustrating and eye opening. Most of all the process should be exciting! My advice is to sit down with a lender to get pre-approved,...versus pre-qualified,..there is a difference. It makes sense to be clear on what you can afford prior to beginning your search. With interest rates at historic lows and Austins amazing economic outlook now is a great time to invest in your future. I would be happy to sit down with you to answer any additional detailed questions or concerns you may have. We can crunch the numbers and get started when you're ready. I look forward to hearing from you.

Steve Robertson
0 votes
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