Buying your first home may seem daunting, so here are some tips from homeowners so you can start your home-buying journey like a pro!
1. Be prepared and know your options.
"The main thing to remember as a first-time home buyer is to be PREPARED and make sure you have all your ducks in a row. You want to know exactly what you can afford and what programs you can do. For example, there are different programs with different amounts to put down for a down payment. You want to know all of your options." —David S.
2. Work with someone you trust.
"When buying your first home, the most important thing is to look for a [lender] you are comfortable with. You want someone who will listen to what you are looking for and have the patience to wait until you find it! Buying a home is a major decision, so buyers need a no-pressure, experienced [lender] who will guide them through the entire process!" —Kristen D.
3. Learn about the schools in your neighborhood.
"Research the reputation of the public schools in the area, as that will impact resale value." —Victoria H.
4. Revisit during rush hour.
"Visit the house on your own without the realtor to check out things like traffic. Most likely, the realtor will choose times to show the house when it's the least hectic in terms of rush hour and whatnot." —Ben C.
5. Research future construction in your area.
"Be sure to know all building restrictions or possible future building projects that may affect the value of the property you are considering purchasing. For instance, if the home currently has stellar views but the land in front of it has not yet been developed, if and when it is built up, the view will no longer be visible — and perhaps something unsightly is built and the value of your home will decrease." —Amanda H.
6. Make your home a financial priority.
"When applying for a mortgage loan, halt ALL major credit purchases...not just while being approved for the loan, but until escrow closes. Apparently they check credit all the way until closing. So hold off on buying all new furniture, flooring, etc. on credit cards before the close of escrow because it could affect your chances of getting your home." —Cathy H.
7. Take a stroll around the block!
"Thoroughly check out your neighbors and the neighborhood. Check out the neighborhood at different times of the day — morning, afternoon, and night — to see how you feel about your possible future surroundings." —Alex S.
8. Remember to check the appliances.
"Don't just fall in love with the cosmetics — look at the functional items, such as the dishwasher, furnace, stove, and water heater. Find out how old each item is and make sure you can afford new appliances if needed." —Tara P.
9. Everything is negotiable!
"Even after you negotiate on the price, remember that almost everything after that is still negotiable, including the repairs on the house after a home inspection. You can use home inspection findings to reduce the purchase price by the amount of the repairs." —Sam S.
10. Know your building basics.
"If the home is under new construction, look at the components the builder is using in the house. If they're cheaping out on windows and doors, then what does that say about the bigger things?" —Richard P.