Before you start looking for a home, one of the first things you need to do is get pre-qualified. Meeting with a mortgage broker will help you find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
After that is the pre-approval process. It's important to know how what sort of house you can afford, but sellers will be more open to buyers who have been pre-approved. Being pre-approved means that you have already applied for a mortgage and received a commitment from a lender. When the seller sees that you have already been approved for a mortgage with their home's value, they know that you are a serious potential buyer and are more likely to take your offer seriously.
After you've been pre-qualified and pre-approved, you should make 2 lists. The first list should be your needs. This includes how many bedrooms you must have based on the current or future size of your family, the number of levels (one-story, two-story) based on accessibility, etc. The second list is where your wants should go. These include things that you would like to have, but do not need like specific flooring, a spare room for a den, a pool, etc. Being a first-time buyer, you most likely won't get everything on your wants list, but it's good to have a picture in mind of what you're looking for.
Now comes the time when you should think about hiring your own real estate agent. This is important since your agent would be working for you and your interests. They will work hard to make sure that you get what you need and want out of the buying process.
When you begin to search for the first home-of-your-dreams, it is important to stay organized and focused. Keep some tools handy while searching for homes such as:
It's important to be objective when buying your first home. This can be an emotional time, so remember to think with your head and not necessarily with your heart. Keep in mind your list of needs. There are plenty of homes to choose from on the market - there's no need to rush into any decisions when buying your first home.
After you've taken a look at potential homes, it's time to make your decision. If a home is a little more than you were wanting to spend, keep in mind the overall value of the home. Spending a bit more in the short-run can save you a lot in the long-run. When you've decided to go under contract, make sure to:
If you feel at all intimidated or overwhelmed with the first-time home buying process, give me a call. I am here to serve you by representing you and keeping track of every step and detail.
Matt Mobley The REALTOR®