Are you thinking about making the first steps to being a homeowner? Being a homeowner is an awesome thing to be, it saves you money in the long run and it is a great investment for the future. I myself am a homeowner and I am also a REALTOR so I am helping people buy homes all the time. If you have never bought a home then it can be a very intimidating process. Once you get all the paperwork and laws out of the way then it is actually a very fun process. From experience, Here are my five best tips on how to be a first-time homeowner.
Talk to a lender
Talking to a lender is the first thing that you need to do. Talking to a lender will help you figure out how much you can qualify for. This will tell you what kind of budget that you are working with and what kind of house you can afford. You don’t want to look at houses, find your dream house, then find out that you cant afford it. During this process, you will figure out what kind of loan you will be able to obtain. You might qualify for and conventional, FHA, USDA, or a VA. All these loans do different things and your lender will be able to find the right one for you. If you need names for lenders around the Wilmington area then please let me know!
Know how the process of buying a house works
You are not expected to how all of the home buying process works but you should know something before you go into it. Your realtor will be able to walk you through the process but learn some things like:
-Know the difference between a buyer and listing agent
-know what Due diligence is and why you need money for it
-know what the earnest period is and what earnest money is for
-know what an offer is
-find out who you will want to use for your inspectors and insurance agents(if you don’t know then your REALTOR should have some suggestions)
Hire an agent
The buyer does not usually pay the realtor to find them the house so you would be a fool not to use a REALTOR. REALTORS come in all shapes and sizes and I suggest you find one who suits you and makes you feel comfortable. As a REALTOR, we have to be in control of the process and let you be in control of the decisions. Find a REALTOR who is not too pushy and can help inform you to make the best decisions.
The market right now is a seller’s market so that means that inventory is flying off the shelves and is not leaving much for buyers to choose from. Buying a house is a big decision and you want it to be perfect but it won’t be perfect. You will have to sacrifice some attributes for others and try to find the house that is best for you. If you try to wait for the perfect house then it will never come. Try to work with your REALTOR and get a house under contract if you like it a lot. You can always back out of an offer and search for more homes if it does not seem right. If you wait too long then the house will be bought by somebody else
Be realistic about what kind of house you want
You probably have the perfect house pictured in your mind right now with a big yard, granite counter tops, wood floors, and in the best neighborhood. The reality is that your first house is probably not going to be like that. You may want an older house but then you will find out that older houses come with a lot of problems. You may want a condo downtown but then you find out those have very expensive HOA’S and taxes. Be realistic with the price you are working with and be open to all suggestions that your REALTOR brings to you. You never know what you might like. Try to decide on some things that you NEED such as a yard or garage and be willing to work with other things like popcorn ceilings or carpet.