A First Time Home-Buyer’s Guide

Thinking about buying your first home? Buying a house can be exciting – but it can be intimidating too. There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to finding the right place from big things like cost and location to detail-oriented work like getting your financial records in order and scheduling inspections. All in all, buying a home can be simpler if you stay organized and know when to act.

Is the Time Right?

Do you know why you want to buy a home? Real estate advice is jam packed with tips on when to buy and sell based solely on trends in the housing market, but rarely is the world so simple. Rather than rush to try to take advantage of low interest rates or waiting around for a buyer’s market, you should understand when the time is right for you personally to pursue home ownership.

When you plan to settle down in an area for five years or longer, it’s probably time to start thinking about home ownership. If you move frequently and are unsure of how long you’ll be staying, maybe hold off on making a major purchase like a home until you are sure you want to settle down in the area. Remember, while home ownership is rewarding it comes with a lot of responsibility.

Another major factor to consider are your financial resources and stability. When applying for a mortgage, your credit score can make a world of difference. You’ll also need to prove to lenders that you have steady income over the past several years. If either your job history or your credit score is on shaky ground, it may be to your advantage to focus on growing your financial credibility before you undertake to buy a home – it can improve both how big a mortgage you can have access to and how much interest you will pay on it.

Do You Know What You Want?

Going into the housing market, it is important to know what your priorities are. You’ll want to have a good idea of what you need in a living space and what you anticipate for the future. Do you think your family will grow? What sort of spaces do you need for your work and hobbies? Understanding how much space you want and need is a good first step to finding a home that fits.

There’s a lot of other factors to consider though, such as whether you want to be in the boundaries of a specific neighborhood or school district. Amenities like stores, parks and libraries close to the home are important for a lot of people. For some, proximity to nature is the key to a home that feels right. There are no right or wrong priorities to have when looking for your first home, but it is important to understand what you value most, and what features you are flexible on.

Get Pre-Approved

After you know what you want but before you go on the house hunt, it’s time to secure financing for your home purchase. Talk with a variety of lenders to see what the best deal and best fit for your needs are. Depending on the housing market you are buying in, a local lender may consider factors specific to your area.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage helps you shop with confidence, knowing what homes you can afford and helping you hone your search. When it comes time to put in a bid on a home, closing on the place can move quickly, without hitches.

Don’t Skip Inspections

Homes on the market often are primed to look their best, and you won’t always be able to spot signs of a problem during your first walkthrough. House inspections are important, often required, when you are buying a home. Get the house you are buying professionally assessed. An inspection can catch hard-to-spot issues, and gives you leverage to either have the seller make repairs or adjust the price of the house.

A housing inspection can also come back with bad news – the house may have issues you are not prepared to deal with. While walking away from a home you thought you wanted can be difficult, it is nowhere near as painful as biting off more than you can chew with your first home purchase.

Fawn Ridge Realty

Want a shortcut to finding the perfect spot in Lake Carroll, Illinois? It’s time to start working with Fawn Ridge Realty to find the home of your dreams!