Buying a home for the first time can seem a bit overwhelming. After All, you’re about to make one of the biggest decisions of your life and you have no prior experience to guide you. The good news is (thanks to internet) you have a world of resources available to you. Here are some tips to boost your swagger before you approach the big decision!

Where Do I Start from-.png

Where do I start?

Buying a home for the first time is a huge decision, so make sure you’re prepared before you jump in with both feet. Evaluate yourself both financially and emotionally.

. Do you have money for a down payment & closing costs? Or does it need negotiated for?

·Are you ready to move into a new place?

·Will you be able to afford living on your own?

·What is your future expectation & expenses?

Do all the math before you go out to make the purchase. Meet your banker and find out exactly how much you can spend on a house. Set your expectations accordingly. Trust me; this will save you a lot of unnecessary stress in the long run.

Once you’ve arrived at a max price you can spend on your house, it’s time to break down the costs and prepare a proper budget. Too often people tend to focus only on immediate costs such as the down payment or mortgage costs; this leads to an unreliable cost estimate. You should also account for repair and maintenance costs, utilities, and the homeowner insurance as well as the real estate taxes.

Make sure you will still have money in your bank account after you have paid closing costs and down payments. You’ll need it for all sorts of moving expenses, and other unexpected requirements that come with buying a new home such as changing locks etc. Have some extra money with you so you can deal with any unforeseen expenses that arise.

When you’re prepared both mentally and financially to get a new place, it’s time for some action. You’ll need a good team on your side so that you can find the best deals around. Find people you can trust to give you fair and honest advice in formulating an offer. Before you even begin looking for a home, you should have an experienced mortgage professional who can help you evaluate the finances. You’ll also need an efficient realtor who knows his way around the market you’re looking to purchase in. Make sure you find an awesome team, because your team plays a huge role in closing your deal.


How do I find the right house?

With your team ready and your finances in place it’s time to start the house hunt.

This isn’t your parents housing market! A lot has changed since your parents bought their first home. But one thing still remains the same, Location is King or Queen.

Depending on the area of country you reside in, you may not have much of a choice in location when buying a home for the first time. As you have probably noticed the better the location the more the home costs. For us in the Midwest home prices are more affordable and the streets are less crowded leaving great locations much more accessible.

Talk to co-workers, friends and even strangers at the right place. Research different areas on the internet, meet different people in the neighborhood you’re looking to move into, go to restaurants in the area, and find everything that you possibly can about the neighborhoods that catch your eye.

People already living in a neighborhood can help highlight problems that may not be eminent otherwise such as barking dogs, the size of utility bills, and other similar stuff. You should also visit the neighborhood different times during the day. This will help you determine the ambiance of the neighborhood. Neighborhoods that may be quiet during the day get really noisy at night with kids out on the street with roaring music.

After you have picked out a neighborhood, I strongly recommend that you visit open houses so that you can survey different houses in the area. Look up the kind of house you’re planning to buy on the internet. Evaluate its size, price, and how long similar houses stay in the market. If you not finding open houses, set a time with your realtor to schedule viewings.

It is easy to get overwhelmed or lose focus especially when you’re buying a house for the first time. Make sure that you have your focus straight. When you’re out surveying houses focus on the location, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the type of floor plan, garage and other expensive and difficult items to improve. Other things like the décor, carpets, and paint are easy to change so if you’re happy with everything else ignore the dirty carpet; you can have it changed once you move in or negotiate some of the cost into the purchase.

To avoid many of the unforeseen pitfalls when buying a home for the first time find a good real estate agent. It is important that the agent you hire has experience directly in the area you’re looking to move into so that he/she can help you find the right home at the best price. A good realtor will not only help you find the right house but he’ll also take care of all the technical details that come with closing the deal such as structuring and presenting the offer, negotiating terms, and troubleshooting any issues that arise during the process. And best of all the realtor is at no cost to the buyer. It’s the seller’s responsabiltiy to pay the real estate agent commissions.

Remember since you are buying a home for the first time you may not be able to afford everything you have dreamt about. Try to have realistic expectations. Even if you can get 80% of what you wanted you did pretty well. With time, you can push it to 100% completing your dream home.

Once you’ve found an awesome home it’s time for home inspection! This is one of the most important parts of buying a house. Have the home you’re looking to buy inspected thoroughly, make sure everything is in order before you move onto closing. There should be no leakages, bad wiring, weak roofs, or bad drainage systems. Buying a home is a big investment and you don’t want any major surprises in the first several years of ownership!

If you’re satisfied with everything, don’t wait too long to make an offer. Good houses rarely stay on the market for long. Get your Realtor to close that deal!

As I said above, it’s nearly impossible to find a perfect house especially if you’re buying a home for the first time, so be open to making compromises. If you want a house in a particular location and you’re getting one but it has one bedroom less than you wanted, weigh your options carefully. What is more important, the location or the bedroom? Pick the one that you can’t do without. There will always be a takeaway, but you can find awesome deals if you know the right people and go to the right places. Good luck!

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.