Tips for 1st time home buyers
Be picky, but don’t be unrealistic. There is no perfect home.
Do your homework before you start looking. Decide specifically what features you want in a home and which are most important to you.
Get your finances in order. Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover your downpayment and your closing costs.
Don’t wait to get a loan. Talk to a lender and get prequalified for a mortgage before you start looking.
Don’t ask too many people for opinions. It will drive you crazy. Select one or two people to turn to if you feel you need a second opinion.
Decide when you could move. When is your lease up? Are you allowed to sublet? How tight is the rental market in your area?
Think long-term. Are you looking for a starter house with the idea of moving up in a few years or do you hope to stay in this home longer? This decision may dictate what type of home you’ll buy as well as type of mortgage terms that suit you best.
Don’t let yourself be house poor. If you max yourself out to buy the biggest home you can afford, you’ll have no money left for maintenance or decoration or to save money for other financial goals.
Don’t be naïve. Insist on a home inspection and if possible get a warranty from the seller to cover defects within one year.
Get help. Consider hiring a REALTOR® as a buyer’s representative. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a buyer’s representative is working only for you. And often, buyer’s reps are paid out of the seller’s commission paymentports and complete the form provided
Five Reasons You Need a Real Estate Agent
A real estate transaction is complicated. In most cases, buying or selling a home requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page government-mandated settlement statements. A knowledgeable guide through this complexity can help you avoid delays or costly mistakes.
Selling or buying a home is time consuming. Even in a strong market, homes in our area stay on the market for an average of ____ days. And it usually takes another 60 days or so for the transaction to close after an offer is accepted.
Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with someone who speaks that language.
REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. That’s why having an expert on your side is critical.
REALTORS® provide objectivity. Since a home often symbolizes family, rest, and security, not just four walls and roof, home selling or buying is often a very emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you keep focused on both the business and emotional issues most important to you.
Common Closing Costs for Buyers
The lender must disclose a good faith estimate of all settlement costs. A check to cover your closing costs will probably have to be a cashier’s check. The title company or other entity conducting the closing will tell you the required amount for:
- Loan origination fees
- Points, or loan discount fees you pay to receive a lower interest rate
- Appraisal fee
- Credit report
- Private mortgage insurance premium
- Insurance escrow for homeowners insurance, if being paid as part of the mortgage
- Property tax escrow, if being paid as part of the mortgage. Lenders keep funds for taxes and insurance in escrow accounts as they are paid with the mortgage, then pay the insurance or taxes for you.
- Deed recording fees
- Title insurance policy premiums
- Inspection fees—building inspection, termites, etc.
- Notary fees