7 tips for first-time home buyers
Buying a home for the first time can be daunting. But with the right real estate company, you’ll feel supported by an advocate who looks out for your interests and goals. So many details go into the whole process that your realtor will handle behind the scenes. But what to do you need to make? How or where to start?
Here are some basic steps to point you in the right direction:
1. Funding—Look at your budget
Knowing your budget limit increases your confidence when looking for a house or land. Talk to your bank (or other banks). They will review your savings and credit scores and guide you through the mortgage options you qualify for. Interview several lenders and compare loan interest rates and fees. Consider what you will need (if any) for a down payment, closing costs and moving costs. Keep an eye on your monthly budget so you know how much monthly mortgage payment you can manage. * First-time home buyers may also qualify for tax relief or other state assistance.
2. Get Pre-Approved—Search for a Home with Confidence
Once you’ve decided to buy, you’ll want to get pre-approval from the lender or bank of your choice. Being pre-approved lets you know your target price range and shows sellers you’re ready to buy a home. It also gives you confidence when shopping for homes.
When the market is competitive (as it has been), most sellers and their agents will require a proof of funds pre-approval letter to be submitted with any offer. *Once you have found a bank you would like to work with, not make big adjustments to your credit (for example, open new accounts, open new credit cards, or add loans). This can hurt your credit and cause you to lose contracts on your dream home once you find it.
3. Make a critical items list – Important things to consider
Think about the practical or essential things you’ll want to know about any home or yard. For example, in a house, you might want to consider: what is the route to work or local schools? What school district is it in? What are the taxes and will they be the same at the price I will pay at closing? What are the utility costs? Does it have high speed internet access?
For land, you might consider the following: Are you going to build? Does he have access to water from the city, the cooperative or a well? How much will it cost to have electricity? Is it in a floodplain? Is there a survey or does it need one? Are there any easements I need to be aware of?
Considering these and other factors can help you make or break your decision and prepare for the pros and cons before you buy.
4. The research process—choosing an agent
Make sure you have chosen an agent who you believe will protect your interests, keep you informed, be patient with you and be available to show you properties. Remember that they are working for you and you want to be sure that they are doing the best job possible. You want to develop a working relationship with an agent who is dedicated to your interests and not an agent who leaves you to fend for yourself and expects other agents to do the job.
Start by choosing your agent, what you are looking for and your price. Then your agent can start the treasure hunt for all the houses in your favorite neighborhood! An agent can even set up automatic search criteria based on your listing so that an automated email is generated directly to your inbox whenever a new property becomes active. Find the ones you like? Your agent will schedule an appointment for you to visit them so you can see your favorites, in person. But good real estate agents do more than that. They also answer your questions about inspections, taxes, flood plains, foundation issues (and needed professionals), utility information, internet, and a host of other concerns you may have along the way. road.
5. Communication—Tell your agent what you are looking for
Allow yourself to imagine what you absolutely need or want in a home or property. If a huge walk-in pantry or wraparound porch makes you happy, tell your agent. Fancy a big shaded garden or a sparkling pool? Do you aspire to live in the countryside or near the lake? Need office space and a large living space with an open floor plan? Tell your agent!
But also, keep your needs focused and your expectations reasonable. Your real estate agent’s goal is to find homes or land that tick some of these items and are best suited to you. However, when market inventory drops, you will find fewer homes or properties available. Therefore, you may find that you compromise on some of these items or have to look outside the box for more choices. You may also consider adding these items in the future after you find a property that has the potential to be what you want.
6. Make an offer—navigate negotiations
When you fall in love with a house or land, your agent sits down and discusses the price of your offer, the financial commitments required from you, and the legalities that go into a contract. A good agent becomes your advocate and negotiator, advising you on how to handle counteroffers and closing costs. Once you have signed the offer, it is sent to the selling agent and your agent will notify you of the seller’s response. When you and the seller have signed, it’s official, you’re in contract!
7. Closing — Crossing the final hurdle
There are a lot of moving parts between the time you receive an accepted offer and the day you close. Your agent will hold your hand and encourage you along the way. They will work closely with the title company (who drafts all the paperwork) and the bank to make sure things run as smoothly as possible on your end.
Closing costs and other necessary expenses for the last day will be discussed with you to make sure you understand everything that is going on. Shopping can be stressful. Full of ups and downs and emotional twists and turns. But a good agent goes above and beyond by working on the details and helping you through the process. It’s the end, it will be worth it when you get the keys to your new home!
About the Contributor: Janet Martin Realty is a multi-million dollar real estate company in Sulfur Springs that works with clients nationwide. In 2021, thanks to the trust and loyalty of their customers, they sold more than $62 million worth of property in Northeast Texas. However, their greatest success continues to be the strong bonds and relationships they have forged within the community. It is thanks to their clients that this team of realtors has ranked among the top producers in Hopkins County and is one of the top independent real estate companies in the area. The office is located at 1325 South Broadway Street in Sulfur Springs across from Starbucks.