First-Time Home Buyers

Check out the guide below for helpful tips and advice on avoiding common mistakes as a first-time buyer.

  • Pre-Qualification: With the help of a mortgage broker, determine how much you can afford.
  • Pre-Approval: Knowing how much you can afford is the first step, but sellers will be much more receptive to pre-approved buyers. By avoiding homes beyond your budget, you'll also avoid being disappointed. During Pre-Approval, the buyer applies for a mortgage and receives a written commitment from the lender. The seller will know immediately that you are a serious buyer if the home you are interested in is within your pre-qualified range. 
  • List of Wants & Needs: Create two lists. In the first list, you should include items you must have (e.g., the number of bedrooms you need, a one-story condo if accessibility is an issue, etc.). It would help if you listed your wishes (den, pool, etc.) in the second list. As a first-time buyer, you won't get everything on your wish list, but creating lists will help keep you on track.
  • Representation by a Professional: Hire a real estate agent who works for you, the buyer, not the seller.
  • Focus & Organization: Store items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts in a convenient place. Such things may include:
  1. Highlighted maps of your areas of interest.
  2. The properties your agent showed you are in a list or file.
  3. As you search, take notes with paper and a pen.
  4. Take pictures of the homes you have toured so you can remember which features you liked and which you didn't like.
  • Try picturing the house empty and with your decor: Are the rooms arranged according to your preferences? Is there enough light?
  • Make sure you think with your heart when you find a home instead of your head when you find a home. Does this home meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so make sure to make a timely decision you may regret later.
  • Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you significant expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:
    1. Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
    2. Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
    3. Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
    4. You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a lovely chandelier that you assumed came with a cheap ceiling light has replaced the sale).

All the above may seem somewhat overwhelming. Therefore, one of our professional agents representing you and handling all the pieces is highly recommended. If you would like to discuss these matters in more detail, please don't hesitate to contact us directly.