Buying a home for the first time can be an intimidating process. There are appraisals to get, money to put in escrow, talk of "points," and so many "what if"s that could derail the whole process. It can be overwhelming.
Learning what you can about the process before you begin can make it a little easier to navigate. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind if you are looking to become a first-time homebuyer:
No matter what kind of financing you're able to secure, you're going to need a lot of money to buy a home. Of course, there's the down payment, which can range from 3 percent to the traditional 20 percent. However, a lot more buyers are qualifying for 100 percent financing. Even if you don't have to pay a down payment, there's still the matter of closing costs, any repairs your new home might need, and all the other extras that come along with moving into a new place. Save as much as you can before you start shopping for your new home.
Use a Real Estate Agent
The process of buying a home can be complex and confusing for first-time buyers. Working with a real-estate agent can make the process a breeze. The agent can advise you on how to make the offer (including how much to offer), what the next steps in the process are, what professionals to use to close the deal, and so on. A good real-estate agent can be like your personal assistant in the buying process.
When you're ready to start shopping, you need to secure financing. However, you shouldn't settle for the first bank that offers you a mortgage. Be sure to compare lenders to make sure you get the best rate and the best terms. You could save yourself thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
Once you have the financing, it's time to shop around for homes. Make sure you look at several homes and don't just fall in love with the first one you see. Even if you end up buying the first one you see, make sure you look at several other homes to get a real feel for what's available and to make sure you're getting the best price.
When you find your dream home, get ready to negotiate. You should never offer what the seller is asking. In addition to negotiating the sales price of the home, you can also negotiate any repairs or improvements that you want done, as well as payment of some of the closing costs. A real-estate agent can give you advice on handling these negotiations for the best outcome.
Don't let the process of buying your first home overwhelm or intimidate you. Use these simple tips to make the process easier and more accessible, and you'll be a pro in no time!