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Tips for the first time home buyer

Buying a home can be a great experience especially if you are prepared ahead of time and understand the process. Once you know you are ready to buy a home, start the process by assembling your team and taking a couple of important steps before looking at specific houses.
Who are the important members of a house buying team?
First is finding a Realtor who specializes in the area of the city you want to live and who also has experience with houses that you think are in your price range.  Their local knowledge will be a tremendous benefit as you hone in on the perfect house to buy.
The second expert you should add is a mortgage loan officer who is willing to help you find the right program for your situation.  Good loan officers will be able to provide a wide variety of loan options and help you understand the one or two that best fits your unique situation.  Many financial institutions offer first time home buying programs that you might want to consider.
What’s next before looking at specific houses?
From the Realtor standpoint, have them give you a market analysis for the areas you are interested in buying a home.  This will help you know the typical price range.  Also ask them for important information about the area such as taxes, schools and other community amenities.   Realtors can be a wealth of information about the community and have insights that might change your outlook on where you want to live.
The second most important step is to get pre-approved so you know what amount of house you can afford. This will help you know the maximum amount of house you can afford in your present financial situation. You will also have a good estimate of how much money you will need for the down payment and other closing costs associated with buying a home.
What are actions to avoid doing during the home buying process?
Don’t make the mistake of buying a home that is out of your price range or paying over market price for a home.  Realizing that your dream home and the home you buy might be different is important in buying a home.
Another important point is that while you are in the process of buying a home, don’t apply for and open other credit. Even something as insignificant as opening a department store charge card can invalidate your pre-approval. 
What else should one know about the home buying experience?
First is that buying a home is usually a negotiation process and that everything from price, closing date, move in date and many other aspects of the transaction can be part of the negotiation process.  Don’t have unrealistic demands and be prepared to counter offer for what the seller might be asking for in the sales process.
Secondly, realize that the process doesn’t end once you have chosen a house and agreed to the price.  The next steps which include an appraisal and home inspections are critically important.  Patience and willingness to ask questions will ensure you don’t have buyer’s remorse on closing day.

Posted: 2/10/2014 with 2 comments

Categories: Homeownership, Money Matters

JaKobi Burton
WOW! Thanks Forum! This was just what I needed to read. I'm in the process of THINKING about buying a home. I'm still years away, but I want to research and learn as much about the home buying process as I can. When the day comes, I want to be prepared.
3/13/2014 9:08:08 PM

Kristina Pedro
Buying a home is really worth it. If you are looking to buy a HUD home, make sure you know how to do repairs or get a contractor to look at the home. Inspection companies don't point out all potential repairs. If you see a leak, be prepared to find more damage beneath. We had this problem, but we did the repairs ourselves.
3/10/2014 8:16:29 PM

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