7 Guidelines For The First-time Home Buyers
According to a National Association of Realtors survey conducted in 2006 and 2007 the average first time home buyer’s age is 31 years. This average is pointing towards Gen X, but in our experience we also have educated Gen Y’ers (or Millennials) on first-time home buying process. Even people that have bought and sold homes in the past often like to go through the steps of this process with us once again. So if you are a first-time home buyer, where do you begin and will you be happy with the ending? Let’s talk about it:
- Before you consider buying a home take a look at your budget. If you are currently renting, do you want your house payment to be the same as your rent? Well, remember you will need to factor in not only your mortgage but also taxes, insurance and maintenance. If you are buying a condo you will also have to pay HOA fees.
- Check your credit. If you plan to finance your home you need to know what you qualify for. Check with your bank or ask your real estate agent for a mortgage broker referral and get a prequalification letter. This way you don’t waste your time looking at homes you are not qualified to buy.
- Once you are prequalified for a loan and know what your monthly housing expenses should be, you can calculate your home price point. Don’t spend hours on Trilia, Zillow or Realtor.com looking at homes you can’t afford.
- Do you or your spouse care about the area where you will live? How about the style of your future home? You will have to live with what you choose, so it’s ok to be picky. Figuring out what you like will help you narrow down your search.
- Find a Realtor. If you are a buyer you don’t pay commissions, so please, please, please find a professional that can help you and guide through the whole process, from helping you with your search, writing contract, arranging inspections and appraisal to negotiations with the seller and a final closing.
- There are always closing costs involved in a sale of a house. Most of your fees will be associated with your loan and some with have to do with the title agency services. Ask your Realtor if the seller can contribute to your closing costs. Make sure you have some cash in your account for a down payment. Even FHA financing requires 3.5% down.
- There are several government assistance programs that can help you with financing and down payment that you may take advantage of. Again, ask your agent if you qualify for any of such programs.
Tampa Bay Real Estate Blog by The HOME Team of Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.