First-Time Home Buyer Guide

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Ready to settle down and finally own the roof over your head? If you are a first-time home buyer, purchasing a home can be an exciting yet daunting experience. This page will answer your most-asked questions about the hunt for your home, and outline the key steps of the buying process.

First-Time Home Buyers Guide

Things To Consider Before You Buy:

  • What type of residence is right for you? Condos, single family, or gated communities each have their pros and cons. Do you prefer move-in-ready, or is a fixer-upper down your alley? Do you like the city, or quieter suburban areas?
  • What can you afford and how much financing will you need? Before you even begin shopping, it's crucial to have your personal finances in order. Your monthly mortgage payment is an important thing to keep in mind, when it comes to affordability. But that's only one factor - other costs include property taxes, homeowners insurance, and upgrades and maintenance fees. Do you have enough cash or savings for closing costs and your down payment? Don't forget you still need to pay for daily living expenses and bills!
  • Have you been pre-approved for a mortgage? Most times, sellers request you to have proof of funds or you are already working with a lender before making an offer. Your lender will look at your monthly income, debt, credit score, and other factors to determine if they will lend you the money.

The Buying Process

Choose An Agent

A professional real estate agent can help you, not just in showing you homes that meet your desires and price range, but they can also advise you in negotiating the buying, closing, and escrow process. He is there to guide the bids & offers process and title move so that the sale closes in a timely manner.

In addition, your agent has a valuable source of information about market trends, communities and neighborhoods, particularly regarding homes for sale in the area. Remember, most homes sell before they're even advertised.

Let the Search Begin!

Nowadays, there's no shortage of available options for finding homes on the market, including agent recommendations, online sources, and word-of-mouth.

If you're on a budget, don't let physical imperfections of a home turn you away. Living in a home whose potential has yet to be realized it might be worth any ugliness for a while, in exchange for getting into a house you can afford.

Make an Offer

After you have been pre-approved for a mortgage, (plus months of reviewing online listings and touring houses) you're now ready to make an offer. Discuss with your agent to decide how high you want to bid for the house, along with any conditions you want to ask the seller about. 

When the buyer presents an offer, your agent will help you negotiate the best possible price. The offer procedure and paperwork vary within regions. Your agent will present the offer to the seller's agent, and it will either get accepted, or will result in a counter-offer. This process can go back-and-forth until someone accepts the deal or decides to call it quits.

Also think ahead: You might request the water and energy bills from the past 12 months to get an idea of the average monthly outlay. Once you reach an agreement, you'll make a down payment and the process then transitions into escrow.

Get a home inspection

A thorough and professional home inspection is a recommended next step to reveal any potential problems or unexpected repairs with a property.

There's no substitute for having a trained professional inspect your potential new home for the quality and overall condition. 

The results of the home inspection will equip you with the necessary information to decide to keep your offer, or rescind your offer and get your deposit back. It can also help you negotiate with the seller to make any necessary repairs or discount the selling price.

Close The Sale

If you're able to work out a deal, Closing is the last step - and will involve a ton of paperwork to complete. Closing includes processes such as home appraisal, title search, surveys, taxes, and mortgage paperwork. Be prepared to pay the down payment of the property.

Congratulations! You've purchased your dream home, let the fun begin!


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