Buying your first home can be intimidating, scary, and overwhelming. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it can get quite stressful. So, to help you with the process, I am writing this post to give you my best 5 tips for new home buyers, that will make the process of buying your first home easier and less stressful.
The first time you do anything in life, it becomes a learning process. You make mistakes, and you learn from those mistakes for the next time. So, buying your first home isn’t an exception. Without a doubt, there will be some things you’ll want to do differently the next time, and that’s totally fine.
But to keep the mistakes down to the minimum, here are my 5 tips for new home buyers, that will help you buy your first home successfully.
The Best Tips For New Home Buyers
Determine If It’s The Right Time To Buy A House
Buying a house is both a financial and an emotional challenge. You need to be ready in both ways if you want to buy a house, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer.
You need to determine if you meet the qualifications, if you have enough money for a down payment, and if you have an emergency fund. Hopefully, you won’t need the emergency fund, but it’s a bit risky to go into the home-buying process without one, because unexpected things can happen.
But even if you meet all of those requirements, you need to figure out are you ready for everything that comes after? Are you ready for the bills, maintenance, home repairs, renovations when needed, the responsibility, and everything else that comes with owning a house?
Since it can get quite overwhelming, you need to make sure you’re both financially and emotionally ready.
Getting pre-approved is a step you don’t want to miss when buying a house. It’s one of the most crucial ones, and ignoring it would not be a good thing for buying a house.
That is something you don’t want to learn the hard way.
If you don’t get pre-approved, you can’t know exactly what’s your budget for the house. So, what’s the point in looking at houses, if you don’t know for sure which ones you’re able to afford?
Plus, sellers will take you more seriously if you’ve already been pre-approved. You don’t want to be turned down by a seller after you find your dream house, just because someone else is pre-approved and you’re not.
Learn About The Market
If you’re completely new to the whole process, you may not even know this exists. But, there are a few different types of markets – a buyer’s market, a seller’s market, and a “normal” market (but the “normal” market rarely ever happens).
The type of market determines how easy it will be to buy a house, and if the terms will be on your side, or not. It can also have an inpact on prices, so that’s something you definitely want to keep in mind.
Even though the names are pretty much self-explanatory, let’s explain what’s a seller’s market, and what’s a buyer’s market.
A seller market happens when the demand for houses is bigger than the supply – more people are looking to buy houses than there are actual houses for sale. That obviously works in the seller’s advantage, since they can up their prices, choose buyers based on who offers more money, and it’s harder to snatch a house you love, since the competition is big.
Now, if you’re buying a house in the seller’s market, don’t feel discouraged! While it will be a bit harder, it’s definitely possible to find your dream house, even then. You just need to know what you’re doing. That’s why having a real estate agent helps so much.
A buyer’s market is the opposite. There are more houses for sale than there are buyers looking to buy. This means that works to the buyer’s advantage. You can bargain to make the prices lower, the competition is way smaller so it’s easier to get the house you want, and you basically have the advantage. So, ideally, you should buy a house in the buyer’s market.
Decide Which Features Are A Must
Before you start looking at houses, get a pen and paper out, and start figuring out which features are a must for you.
It’s important to know upfront which features, you absolutely need to have, which ones would be nice to have, but you can live without, and which things you don’t want in your house.
Knowing all of that upfront will make the whole process easier (and faster), since you’ll be able to eliminate houses super fast when they don’t match your needs.
However, try to be realistic, and not get swept away by smaller things. Some good examples of things that can be reasonable deal-breakers are the number of rooms, amount of bathrooms (if you have a huge family), the location, whether there’s a big yard or not (to people who find that super important), whether there’s a garage or not, etc.
Some things that probably shouldn’t be deal-breakers if everything else is great are walk-in closets, fireplaces, fancy tech, high ceilings, etc.
But of course, everyone’s priorities are different, so find which features are the most important to you!
Think About The Neighborhood
Neighborhoods can play a big part in buying houses. Figure out which requirements you have for the neighborhood, and do some research.
Think about the commute from home to work (will it take you hours, or just 15 minutes), if there’s a school or a kindergarten nearby if you have kids, if there are supermarkets nearby, or gas stations, if it’s a quiet neighborhood for families, or a busy and loud neighborhood more suitable for young adults.
All of those things can be important when deciding which neighborhood you want to live in.
Even though it can be overwhelming, house hunting is actually a very fun process, when you know what you’re doing!
So, to make it as smooth, problem-free, stress-free, and fun as possible, working with an agent is the best thing you can do.
And that’s exactly why I’m here!
If you want to buy a house, and you want my help, feel free to contact me!
Here’s a buyers timeline, from start to finish, so you know exactly what the process of working with me and buying your dream house looks like:
- Meet with Jenn
- Learn about the market
- Get pre-approved
- Begin shopping in Jenn’s portal
- Find the perfect home
- Make an offer
- Open up escrow
- Apply for the mortgage
- Complete inspections
- Negotiate repairs
- Complete the bank appraisal
- Final walk through and signing
- Closing and getting the keys
- Move in