First-Time Home Buyers Guide
Tips & Advice for First-Time Home Buyers
For many people, especially young Americans, buying a home is a lifelong dream. But this achievement can also be associated with stress and anxiety, especially for first-time home buyers. If you’re ready to purchase your first house within the next year or so there are a few tips to consider making the experience go as smoothly as possible. GrassRoots Financial provides a guide of the top 5 tips for first-time home buyers.
Top 5 Tips for First-Time Homeowners
Create a Budget & Stick to it:
First and foremost, you must know how much you can comfortably afford. If you’re currently renting an apartment, you have a bit of an idea of your affordability with utilities. But keep in mind a house comes with additional costs for property taxes, garbage pickup, homeowners insurance and, of course, unexpected, costly home repairs.
To give you a basic idea you can use an online mortgage calculator. This tool will help you figure out the monthly payment after taking into consideration your down payment, property tax and homeowners insurance cost.
Make Sure You are Ready for Commitment:
Homeownership is one of the biggest commitments people will make in their entire lifetime – make sure you are 100% ready, willing & able before you take the leap. While the average loan term is 15 – 30 years you do not have to stay in your home for that entire duration. However, you want to make sure you can commit to the city/home for at least 7 years and have an emergency fund to cover emergency repairs & other expenses.
If these are not things you think you can commit to, continue to build your savings and keep searching.
Don’t Skip the Preapproval:
Even if you think you can afford a $250,000 home, you’ll want to get a preapproval before seriously considering homes to purchase. This will give you an exact amount of money you can get based on W2s, bank statements and credit score.
Create a List of Non-Negotiables:
Now that you have a budget and a preapproval come up with a list of your realistic non-negotiables. These can include a fenced-in backyard, new AC unit, square footage, dishwasher and other such amenities. Your non-negotiables will help you narrow down your home search.
Hire an Experienced Local Realtor:
To make your first-time home buying experience go as smoothly as possible is to hire an experienced, qualified real estate agent. Not only is your real estate agent an expert in the local market, but they have connections to loan officers and real-estate attorneys to give you the best advice.