Buying a home for the first time can seem overwhelming for anybody. Browsing for properties online is easy enough, but do you know where to go from there? Most likely, the answer is no. Thankfully, with the right help and tools, your home buying experience can be stress free and exciting.
1. Find a REALTOR: Before you do ANYTHING ELSE, find a reputable and licensed real estate agent. This step alone will make sure that all the steps following steps are done properly. A good real estate agent will have YOUR best interest at heart, and will work to get you into the best home for you.
2. Be Pre-Approved: This is a big one. Being pre-approved will give you a much better idea of what you can afford when searching for your first home. If you do not know where to start with this, talk to your real estate agent before you start looking for homes. More often than not, they will have lenders available at their fingertips to help get you started in the process. This way, you will be looking at homes that you KNOW you can afford, versus looking at homes that are completely out of your price range. It saves you a lot of time and heartache in the long run.
3. Don’t get caught up on appearances: It’s easy to walk into a property and think “this is not my style” or “I don’t like that paint color.” Remember — most likely, you’ll be looking at homes that are occupied by the sellers. Things like paint color or carpet can be changed, and the furniture won’t remain. Avoid getting hung up on things that can be changed or replaced. You want to focus on any structural issues or major problems that could cost you a lot of money down the road.
4. Get to know the neighborhood: It can be very easy to fall in love with a home, but a little more challenging to love your neighborhood. Are good schools important? Do you have a chance to talk to the neighbors and find out what they think of where they live? Is being close to shopping and amenities important, or can you live being farther away from such things? It’s easy to get caught up on just the home itself, but make sure you’re looking at the big picture before making such a large investment.
5. Consider your long-term needs: Are you planning on having more children? Or is that chapter closed for you? If you have children, is there room for them to grow, or are you planning on being empty-nesters in the near future? It might seem odd to think about the big picture, and it’s impossible to plan for every situation that may arise in your future, but being aware of what your plans may or may not be will help you decide if that property is a smart investment choice for you and your family.
The Kibler Group
Keller Williams Partners