Buying your first home is a great financial decision for most people. It can, however, be a very intimidating move without the right knowledge and guidance. There are many financial advantages including tax deductions, and building valuable equity in your home but other aspects as well including pride of ownership. So without any further ado, let’s go to it.
- Develop a relationship with a reliable real estate agent.
While this very first item may seem self-serving (since I’m a real estate agent), it is however a very essential first step. By working with a real estate agent from the beginning, you can develop a professional relationship with them and have a person you can rely on to guide you through the entire purchase process from qualifying for a loan, searching for to coordinating the closing of your new home. AND, as a home buyer, your real estate agent will be paid in most circumstances by the seller. It doesn’t cost you anything.
- Get yourself pre-qualified for a mortgage.
This may seem like putting the cart before the horse, but by pre-qualifying you empower yourself to back up your offer with the ability to close quicker than someone who has not taken this first step. The option to close quick can often help your contract win out over another contract, especially if the seller is motivated. Also, by pre-qualifying in advance, you know exactly how much you’ll be approved to purchase which can be helpful during the search process.
- Do your research.
Work with your real estate agent to help them know what you’re most interested in. What neighborhoods do you prefer? If you have children, do you have a school district preference? Is your commute time to work important? Do you absolutely hate split foyers? You’re trying to figure out the “deal killers”. What does your new home have to have and what, if it were missing, would immediately change your mind about that house? The answers to all of these questions will enable your real estate agent to better refine their search process for you and send you the most relevant listings that meet your needs.
The next post in this series will be what to look for when you’re touring homes with your real estate agent.