When you are somewhat new to “adulting”, being a first time home buyer can be more than a little intimidating. There are a lot of things throughout the process that you will likely not know about, simply because you’ve never been exposed to them or even thought about them.
First time buyers often think the most complicated part of the transaction will be knowing what offer to make, and while yes, that is a HUGE part of buying a home, it’s just one of the important steps along the way. Negotiations, inspections, and the closing process has brought many an unexperienced buyer (and agent) to their knees.
I love working with first time home buyers. Perhaps it’s my experience and age (let’s call is being “seasoned”), or maybe it’s the fact that I have kids that will soon be young adults, that I enjoy helping educate first time home buyers and sharing my knowledge with them.
Here is a quick list of tips that can help a first time home buyer get prepared for buying a home, and I can help them every step of the way!
Step 1: Prepare to Look – At this preliminary stage, I recommend that potential buyers pay off as much debt as they can (including student loans), build their credit responsibly and also build an emergency fund of cash, representing 3-6 months worth of their take home pay.
Step 2: Budget – Take a look at roughly how much home you can afford to buy. There are simple calculators online, or if you have a realtor or mortgage officer you know you are going to work with, they can help you as well.
Step 3: Down Payment – Take some time and save for your downpayment. Note to self: Downpayment savings is not the same as your emergency fund. Do NOT use your emergency fund for your downpayment. Often after someone buys their first home it takes a few months to adjust to a mortgage payment and the extra short term expenses that come with purchasing a home. You don’t want to be strapped for cash when you take on that endeavor.
Step 4: Closing Costs – Sadly, closing costs exist and taking out a mortgage isn’t free. There are a variety of programs and offers out in the marketplace at any given moment, but just make sure you know what to expect and are prepared to pay at the table when you close.
Step 5: Chose a realtor if you haven’t already. This is when you will start researching neighborhoods and areas, types of homes you like and what you want in a home before you start looking. Your realtor can step in and help you understand the process after you find the home of your dreams, and how the process will work.
I look forward to helping you find your first nest of your own, and making it a great experience along the way!