Do’s and Don’ts for the First Time Home Buyer

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Do’s and Don’ts for the First Time Home Buyer

So, you’re considering or have already made the decision to buy your very first home. Congratulations! Home ownership can be so wonderful and rewarding experience, plus it is a great step toward building wealth. It can also lead you into some trouble if you get in over your head and don’t make the right decisions. As a real estate agent and someone who has been a first time home buyer, I have some Do’s and Don’ts to consider before you buy your first home.

Do talk with lenders and compare rates and fees.

Before you even consider looking for home, talk with a lender and get preapproved. Check in your area if there are any down payment assistance programs that you might qualify for because you’re a First Time Homebuyer. Many think that one has to have 20% down to buy a home, but with a FHA loan you can put as low as 3.5% down. So talk with a lender about your finances and big picture so they can help you determine which loan product is best for you. In the mean time, here is a simple mortgage calculator to mess around with numbers.

Don’t spend as much as the lender approves you to buy.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. I don’t care how awesome a house is, it’s not worth being house poor over. A home should bring you a feeling of security, not be a huge burden.

Do get a real estate agent.

A lot people look on sites like Zillow or drive around neighborhoods looking for For Sale signs, and by the time they come across it, the home is usually under contract and they’ve missed out. An agent will have direct and instant access to new listings and is working for you. You can and still should browse sites like Zillow, just send the properties you like to your agent.

Don’t make any large purchases after you’re preapproved.

A large item on your credit can drastically change your approval status. Lenders can run your credit even the day of closing, so hold off on buying your new appliances or furniture until it’s a done deal!

Do pick the right location!

Make sure you are happy with the school zones, proximity to your work, family, friends, etc. You change just about anything with a house except the location so this is a big one, think long term

Do get a home inspection

Just please!!

Do get a home warranty

A home warranty gives you coverage for systems and appliances for the first year you own the home. This can be a true life saver. Especially after you just put so much money toward a down payment and closing costs, if an appliance breaks it can be a huge financial stress in that first year.

Do look at this purchase as an investment

Remember, this is your first home. You may live in it for the rest of your life, but chances are you won’t. So make sure to consider it’s resale value or your ability to rent it out in the future.

Good luck and happy house hunting!


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