First time homebuyers rarely know what they can expect along the way on their journey to home ownership. The lack of foresight can lead to frustrating delays, obstacles, and upsets. However, taking the time to prepare helps you understand what you may encounter in your first real estate endeavors. Here are some useful tips for first time homebuyers
One: Emotional Detachment
No matter where you are in the process of finding your first house, do not emotionally attach to a particular property. Many things can happen during the transaction that ends up being deal-breakers. There can be problems with the home mortgage loan, multiple offers that win over yours, or problems revealed during the home inspection, among others. Even if a house seems perfect and you can envision yourself living there making memories, do not let your heart get attached. Emotional attachment leads to desperate measures, so it’s best to let logic and reason run the show.
Two: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Pre-approval for your home mortgage loan is imperative before you begin to look at houses. Many buyers do this backward, finding the house first and then applying for loans. There are many reasons you should be pre-approved before even contacting the real estate agent or browsing properties online. Pre-approval determines whether or not you’re qualified for a home mortgage loan, how much you can afford to spend on a house, lets the real estate agent know you’re prepared to conduct business, and signals the sellers that you’re a serious contender. You’re not ready to look for houses until you’ve been pre-approved for your home mortgage loan.
Even with pre-approval for a home mortgage loan, you need a twenty percent down payment. But you’ll also need cash out-of-pocket for earnest money deposit, closing costs, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and Homeowners Association Fees when applicable.
Make sure you’re financially prepared without over-extending your finances to make a significant investment in a home.
Three: Be Realistic with Your Wish List
You’ve had your whole life up to this point to daydream about what your perfect house entails. You can see all the beautiful finishes – the wood floors, the spacious and floor plan, granite countertops, and all the bells and whistles. Unfortunately, however, first-time buyers often over-estimate what their budget will buy and then find their dreams deflated as realization manifests. When you make your wish list, categorize that list by must have features, negotiable features, and would love to have features. Remember, this is your starter home. You’ve got room to grow by either improving upon the house you buy or upsizing to a bigger, fancier residence in the future. You don’t need to have every perk or prestige with your first purchase.
Four: Your Agent is On Your Side
Take the time to investigate, interview, and hire the right real estate agent from the start. When you find the right agent, verify their credentials, and sign the agreement, then remember that your agent is as determined to seal the deal as you are. Your real estate agent does not get paid until you complete the process of buying the house. Agents work on commission only, so if you’re not satisfied enough with a property to purchase, that agent doesn’t get a paycheck. Your agent will not purposefully show you properties outside of your criteria, railroad your experience, or lead you in the wrong direction. When you hire a real estate agent, understand the partnership and trust the leadership of the agent you hire.
Five: Patience is Key
The demand for instant gratification is high in this fast-paced, technologically advanced society. We want what we want, and we want it right now. Sadly, there’s no such thing as instant gratification or quick fix methods to buying real estate. It’s a time-consuming process with many overlapping layers of processes and procedures. Don’t rush the process. Good things are worth waiting for.
Your dreams of owning a home are beginning to manifest. You’re serious enough to be exploring all the possibilities. Take your time. Research. Do your homework. Know what to expect so that when the time is right, you can make all your dreams of home ownership come true.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give The Pikoff Team a call today at 832-786-1644 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.