Buying your first home can be a bit intimidating. You have no previous experience to guide you and keep you from hitting potential roadblocks and financial pitfalls. The good news is that there are many professionals out there who can guide you through the process. We are familiar with what a first-time home buyer might not know and can anticipate your questions, concerns, and even those things you didn’t even think to ask. Let’s go over a few of the tips that these various professionals would share.
Advice for First-Time Home Buyers from Accountants
- Stick to your budget- Just because a lender is willing to lend you more money than you thought you’d qualify for doesn’t mean you have to take it all. Leave room in your budget for home improvements and repairs because even new homes need them.
- Consider costs related to location- Don’t just look at the cost of the house, but also commuting costs that will add up over time if you must drive a long distance to go to the places you routinely travel to. If you’ll be paying more for fuel, be sure to consider that in your budget.
- Save early and strengthen your credit- The more you can put down and the better your credit, the more favorable the mortgage terms you’ll be able to qualify for.
Advice for First-Time Home Buyers from Insurance Brokers
- Be sure to budget for adequate home insurance- Your lender will require you have coverage based on the value of the home, but you should also consider other liability factors and what it would cost to rebuild your home in the worst-case scenario.
Advice for First-Time Home Buyers from Real Estate Agents
- Hire a home inspector- You may need more than a standard house inspection, depending on the property, so plan to also have other tests done, such as a radon test, pest/termite inspection, and roof inspection. You need to know about problems before you close!
- Negotiate with the seller- Rarely does a seller list a house for the minimum they’d accept, so be sure to work with a real estate agent who has mastered the art of negotiation to get you the best price possible.
- Location matters- Don’t just look at the house, but also the neighborhood. Be sure the amenities you want are nearby and that the neighbors take good care of their homes to keep the area looking nice.
Advice for First-Time Home Buyers from Mortgage Brokers
- Explore mortgage options- You can save thousands of dollars over the course of a mortgage by selecting one with the best possible terms. Learn about conventional, VA and FHA loans, and other options before you proceed. Also investigate any first-time home buyer assistance programs you might qualify for.
- Get preapproved- Before you start searching, find out what price range you qualify for so you can save time.
At Harbor Mortgage Company, we can be a valuable resource to you. We have extensive experience working with first-time home buyers and look forward to guiding you on your journey. We will help you compare mortgage types and their rates and fees so you can see the upfront and long-term repercussions of your decision. Reach out today to learn more.