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?

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3
Terry Parrish, Agent, Ahwatukee, AZ
Sun Mar 4, 2012
Good question, and you are in the process of doing one of the things I suggest - research, educate yourself. Here are a few other suggestions:
1. Get a copy of your credit report, clean it up if necessary. Know your credit score, Lenders use a tri-merged report.
2.. Evaluate your financial situation, do you have money for down payment, closing costs, moving expenses. If you are a Veteran you can obtain a loan with zero down - FHA requires a minimum of 3.5%, it can be a gift from a family member or employer.
3. Establish a monthly budget.
4. Determine what you need and want - number of bedrooms, lot size, location. Single Family Home, Town House, or Condo - what matches your lifestlye best.
5. Find a Realtor - Interview a few, ask for a recommendation from a co-worker or family member. It is important for you to have your own representation - especially in this volatile market. In most areas the Seller pays the commission, therefore that is a fee you won't have to worry about.
6. Speak to a few major Lenders, compare their rates and fees. Ask for a fee worksheet.
There is so much more to finding a home, negotiating, the right financing for you, knowing the market trends for the areas you are looking in, a knowledgable Real Estate Agent can guide you through the process and educate you at the same time.
This is a good start.
Happy House Hunting!
Please don't hesitate to call me with more questions.
Terry Parrish
West USA Realty
480-940-4669
2 votes
Christine Ho…, Agent, Chandler, AZ
Mon Mar 5, 2012
Excellent Question! First thing you want to do (besides decide on a trust-worthy, educated Real Estate Agent). You will need to get pre-qualified. Its amazing what people think they can buy compared to what they really can buy. You have so much buying power right now with interest rates so low. Make sure there isnt any surprises on your report. Decide what is truely important in a home to you? It can be overwhelming with choices. Know your additional costs that come with buying a house - inspections, appraisals, repairs, etc can begin to add up. Last make sure you understand the market you are buying in & know what to expect when making an offer. So many first time home buyers in the East Valley are surprised when they are up against multiple offers & getting out bid. You want to make sure your agent can help prepare a strong offer you feel good about. Have fun house shopping!! Dont let it get you stressed - it should be an exciting time buying your first home. If you have additional questions please dont hesitate to call or email me.
Christine
West USA Realty Revelation
602-750-0312
christine@christinesazhomes.com
http://www.christinesazhomes.com
1 vote
Jeff Gerber, Agent, Chandler, AZ
Sun Mar 4, 2012
Choose an experienced REALTOR, not just a Real Estate Agent, preferably one who is an Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) to work for you in your search. Make sure you feel like you will have a comfortable relationship with that person. Meet with a Lender (again interview several Lenders, ask your friends or your REALTOR for referrals) and determine what mortgage amount you can be pre-qualified for. Compare the monthly cost of what your maximum pre-qualification amount is and what monthly payment will be comfortable for your budget. Next, determine where you want to try and find a home...near work, in a particular school district, etc. The next thing you will need is a good supply of patience. The current Greater Phoenix market is a Seller's market. The available inventory is low, so selection is limited and competition from other Buyer's is great. Don't get easily disappointed if you offer is not accepted. Make sure that any offer you have your REALTOR submit on your behalf is a strong offer. The day's of getting a great bargain (relative to the current market pricing) is gone. With that said, home prices in the Phoenix market are still only slightly higher than the low of the market and mortgage interest rates continue at near historic low rates. Those factors cannot last too much longer. Get sound professional advice and take the plunge to be a home buyer. If you're looking at a purchase in the East Valley, I would love the opportunity to interview to earn your business.
1 vote
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