Becoming first-time home buyers at any age can be a time-consuming and stressful experience. The world of real estate can seem complex and a bit overwhelming. You may have already found just deciding to start house-hunting exhausting.
While it can be daunting to know where to start this exciting journey, it may help to remember that many people are successful in finding their dream homes. Here are five top tips that will help make buying your first home a little more enjoyable.
Seek Buyers Mortgage Pre-Approval
Before starting the search for your first home, it can be valuable to learn if you qualify for a pre-approved mortgage. A pre-approved mortgage estimates how much you might be eligible for, given your income and debt level. Pre-approval of a mortgage will tell you how much you can afford when buying a home and can help your purchase offer be taken seriously by a seller. This pre-approval is often only valid for a set period, so it’s good to go through this process close to the time you’ll begin looking for a home. And remember, a pre-approval doesn’t mean that you have gained approval for this loan.
Create a Budget
If you don’t qualify for a pre-approved mortgage or other loans, you’ll need to find another way to determine the price range you can afford for a new home. Creating a budget that includes your monthly income and expenses is an excellent first step. You can then use an online mortgage calculator to help you determine the maximum monthly mortgage payment you can afford based on the house’s price after you make a down payment.
You’ll want to include any potential expenses the new home might incur, like maintenance fees and property taxes. The more seriously you stick to your budget, the easier it will be to make an offer once you find your dream home.
Clarify Your Goals
Knowing exactly — or at least an approximation of — what you’re looking for can go a long way to reducing your frustration during your house-hunting journey. You can ask yourself telling questions, like:
- Do I want to live in the city or the countryside?
- Is living close to reputable schools vital?
- Would I like a short commute to work?
- What features am I looking for in my first house?
Making a list of non-negotiables can really help you define your ideal home. But, keeping an open mind will be essential as both your priorities and the real estate market can shift over time.
Hire an Experienced REALTOR®
An experienced real estate professional familiar with the area you’ve chosen as your ideal locale can help save you time, energy, and money. A REALTOR® can make or break your home buying experience, so finding one who can listen to and execute your criteria is valuable.
An experienced REALTOR® often has contacts for real-estate attorneys and loan officers, which will come in handy once you close and offer. They should offer tips at the beginning of your search and along the way when things can get more stressful.
Compare Similar Properties
First-time home buyers should compare similar homes in the area they want to live. Your real estate agent can arrange any number of open houses, but you can also take this job on yourself to a degree. Numerous online real estate websites offer detailed information on comparable listings, including price, square footage, amenities, and more. The more information you have, the easier it will be to narrow your search.
Contact a Fully-licensed REALTOR® today!
Looking for an experienced REALTOR® that specializes in real estate across Wellington County? At Royal City Realty we are focused on helping you unlock your future.