Home Buying Tips For First Time Homebuyers
If you’ve decided that you are ready to take the plunge and buy your first home, the home buying process can seem intimidating. Purchasing a home is a big decision and if the thought of it gives you the jitters, you aren’t alone. To help make the process more doable it helps to break it down into stages. Take it step-by-step, put one foot in front of the other, and with a little hard work and a good realtor you’ll soon find yourself a proud homeowner!
Before you even start house hunting, set the stage for success by deciding who will represent you as a buyer and understand the finances of purchasing a home.
The first thing you’ll want to do is find a good Realtor. At first glance, this might sound like putting the cart before the horse. As a newbie you may think you should find the house first, then find someone to help you make the deal. While you can certainly go to open houses and cruise the Internet, having a buyer’s agent in your corner from the get go is a smart move. You don’t incur any obligation by interviewing Realtors until you find one you’re comfortable with.
Determine what you can afford. It’s best to know up front exactly what you can afford. It avoids disappointment later. Things you’ll want to factor in are how much of a down payment you can make, your income, all your debt (including car payments, credit cards and other installment payments, student loans, alimony/child support), your lifestyle and what you can/cannot give up to accommodate a mortgage, and your credit score. When you’ve figured out how much of a monthly mortgage payment your budget will allow, keep in mind that part of the monthly expenses as a homeowner will include interest rates on your loan, property taxes, homeowners insurance, and (possibly) HOA (Home Owners Association) fees.
Get preapproved for a loan. You’ll want to have a face-to-face meeting with a mortgage broker to discuss the steps in the loan process, what kinds of loan programs you qualify for and what the current interest rates are. Next you’ll need to get pre-approved for a loan. This helps give you negotiating power in the bidding process once you’ve found the house of your dreams. Sellers will know you are serious – and qualified. Don’t stress if you don’t happen to know any mortgage brokers. Your Realtor can offer you some suggestions.
If you are in the market for a home, whether it is an Eichler or traditional home, I’d welcome the opportunity to assist you. Give me a call at 1-415-EICHLER (1-415-342-4537) or contact our team via our handy online contact form.