If you’ve dreamed of being a first-time homebuyer, getting close to achieving your goal can be more than exciting. Home prices continue to appreciate nationwide, so it’s a good time to buy and start building equity in your property.
But there’s so much to know and learn about this process! Unless you’re a real estate expert, you can’t be expected to know all of the jargon or understand the process enough to avoid costly mistakes. As you tackle buying a home, here are some of the things you need to know.
Get Your Financial House in Order
You’re going to need some money in the bank and decent credit to purchase a home. If you have a lot of debt, it’s time to start paying that down and setting something aside each month for your home purchase.
Even if you get a no downpayment mortgage, you’ll still need some cash on hand for closing costs and other expenses associated with moving. If you can get your financial house in order first, you’ll find it easier to purchase the home you want.
Figure Out How Much Home You Can Afford
Owning a home isn’t cheap. Before you start looking at houses online, put together a budget to figure out how much home you can afford.
In addition to your monthly mortgage payment, you need to consider some other costs. These include insurance, taxes, HOA fees, and upkeep costs.
Get Preapproved for a Mortgage
Once you’re confident that you have a sound budget and enough cash for closing costs, it’s time to speak with some mortgage lenders. Get pre-approved for a loan instead of just pre-qualified. This requires some extra steps but can give you more leverage when dealing with sellers.
Research Neighborhoods for the Best Fit
You might have a price range in mind for your first home, but what about an area? This can be just as important as the home, if not more so. Make sure you consider factors such as quality schools, commute times, and proximity to amenities as you narrow your choices.
Find Homes for Sale in Your Price Range
Now that you have a list of desirable neighborhoods, it’s finally time to begin looking at homes in your price range. Ask your real estate agent to provide you with a list that meets your criteria. They can visit those homes with you as well as attend open houses.
Evaluate Your Options and Think Long-Term
When it comes to buying your first home, you may not get everything on your wish list. But, most homebuyers come close. You might find a home that is in a great neighborhood that simply needs a few upgrades. This can help you build significant value over time.
Make a Competitive Offer on a Home
Assuming you find a home you want and can afford, you can make an offer because you are pre-approved for a loan. Your real estate agent can prove invaluable at this stage as they put their knowledge and negotiation skills to work on your behalf.
Get Ready for Your Closing
As soon as the seller accepts your offer, you can begin working towards closing. This involves some inspections, additional paperwork, and sometimes handling a few minor issues. Again, your agent will help you understand the process and make sure you meet each deadline.
Get Help Buying Your First Home in the Lexington Area
Even with all these tips, buying a home can be challenging and not something you want to take on without help. The Lafeyette Team specializes in listening to its clients’ needs and providing a superior level of service throughout every stage of the homebuying process.
Our real estate professionals have over 17 years of combined experience, and we have extensive knowledge of the area. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help make your first time home buying experience a success.