Advice for First-Time Buyers
- Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
- Pre-Approval: While
knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much
more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll
also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of
your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a
mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way,
assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you
are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a
serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally
nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close
- List of Needs & Wants:Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the
number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story
house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your
wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are
not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you
probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep
you on track for what you are looking for.
- Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.
- Focus & Organization:In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in
maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
- One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
- A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.
- Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties,
especially if you are attending a series of showings.
Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a
prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime
rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and
negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features
of the area?
- Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
- Be Objective:Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with
your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses
on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret
- Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:
- Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
- Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
- Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not
agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale
having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).
- All the above may seem rather overwhelming.That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all
the details for you is highly recommended. Please email me or call me
directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.