10 Tips for First Time Homebuyers

  1. Be Picky, but don’t be unrealistic. There is no perfect home.
  2. Do your homework before you start looking. Decide specifically what features you want in a home and which are most important to you.
  3. Get your finances in order. Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover your down payment and your closing costs.
  4. Don’t wait to get a loan. Talk to a lender and get prequalified for a mortgage before you start looking. This will help you buy within your means.
  5. Don’t ask too many people for opinions. It will drive you crazy. Select one or two people to turn to if you need a second opinion.
  6. Decide when you could move in. If renting when is your lease up?
  7. Think long term. Are you looking for a starter house with the idea of moving up in a few years or is this a home you plan to stay in longer? The decision may indicate what type of home you’ll buy as well as what type of mortgage terms suit you the best.
  8. Don’t let yourself be house poor. If you max yourself out to buy the biggest home you can afford, you’ll have no money left for maintenance or decoration or to save for other financial goals.
  9. Don’t be naïve. Insist on a home inspection and if possible a warranty from the seller to cover defects within the first year.
  10. Get help. Consider hiring a REALTOR as a buyer’s representative. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a buyer’s representative is working only for you. And often, buyer’s reps are paid out of the seller’s commission.