by Nutan Brown
on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 at 10:37am.
Buying your first home is an exciting and special experience. But it can be also overwhelming. Real estate can be complex and confusing, and it’s tough to know where to start when you’re ready to search for your first home. Like any big project, a successful homebuying experience is all about getting the details right from start to finish.
To help you navigate the process, here are 5 essential tips for first-time homebuyers.
START SAVING EARLY
Buying a home will likely be the largest purchase of your life. From the downpayment, to closing costs, moving expenses, and a numerous other costs, it should come as no surprise that this purchase will take a chunk out of your bank account. Create a savings plan and start saving early to ensure you have the necessary funds to make the move.
Once you’ve saved up enough for your down payment, the next step should be to get a mortgage pre-approval. This will allow you to know exactly how much house you can afford so you don’t waste time viewing homes outside of your price range. It also puts you in a stronger bargaining position, as the seller knows you have access to the appropriate funds.
STICK TO YOUR BUDGET
Many of us dream of buying a home, but we also need to be realistic about how much we can afford. Narrow down your search to homes at or below your price range to give some wiggle room for bidding in a competitive market. If you fall in love with a home but the price is more than you can afford, it’s time to move on.
As a first-time homebuyer, you’ll want to be familiar with various programs that apply to your situation. Whether it’s a rebate you may qualify for or a tax-efficient way of funding your down payment, there are a number of government programs that can help you potentially save some money when you buy your first home.
USE AN EXPERIENCED REALTOR
A good real estate agent will scour the market for homes that meet your needs and guide you through the negotiation and closing process. Get agent referrals from other recent home buyers. Interview at least a few agents, and request references. When speaking with potential agents, ask about their experience helping first-time home buyers in your market and how they plan to help you find a home.