Tips for first-time home buyers

buying-a-new-houseSo, you’re ready to buy your first house. That’s really exciting, and probably just a little bit scary. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you through all of it. Since it’s your first time, we’ll walk you through some tips and give you an idea of what to expect:

Create a budget

Before you start looking for a house, you’ve got to know what price-range you’re looking in. Assess your finances. Take into consideration how much you earn each month and how much you have to pay out every month, what you have in savings, how much you spend on your lifestyle and if you’re willing to sacrifice any of it. Here’s a great video to help you figure it out.

Get pre-approved for a home loan

Once you determine how much you are willing to spend, you need to be sure someone will lend you the money. In a pre-approval for a home loan, a lender will determine if you’re qualified for a loan and how much they would be willing to lend you. It’s not a guarantee; you’ll still need to go back for final approval before you can purchase a home.

Make an offer

Once you find a house you love, if you want to buy, you’ll have to make an offer. To determine if the asking price is what you want to offer, consider comparable home sales in the area. Consider what you want included in your offer, the appliances, furniture, window treatments, insurance. An offer will also include information about when you’d like to close and should be contingent on the home passing an inspection. An offer should be as specific as possible while still leaving a little wiggle room. If the seller doesn’t agree with all the details in your offer, they’ll be changed and returned as a counteroffer until everyone comes to an agreement.

Schedule an inspection

You should pay a licensed home inspector to check out the house to determine if there are any structural, mechanical or electrical flaws with it. If the inspector reveals any issues with the home you didn’t notice prior to an offer, it can serve as a reason to back out of buying or give you insight into what you want the seller to repair before you do purchase the home. In some cases, lenders won’t give a loan without an inspection. Either way, it’s to protect you, so you’ll want to get one.

Expect some closing costs

When it’s time to close on the home, there are few costs you can expect to pay, fees to the lender, the escrow company, the title company and more. The costs will vary depending on the price of the home, the size of the loan, the parameters of your agreement with the buyer. You won’t be going in blind, you’ll get a good faith estimate of what the costs will add up to.

You planned for it, found it, checked it out, bought it. Now all that’s left is moving into your new home. Simple, right? We’re sure you have many more questions; we’d love to help you find the answers!

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