Buying a home for the first time can be nerve-racking. However, it is one of the most exciting and rewarding life moments there is. We rounded up some tips to make the whole process easier. Check them out below:
1. Check your credit. This is like taking your temperature for your financial health. Before you even start saving for a down payment, you may learn that you actually need to pay down some debt for a credit score boost. Once your credit is healthy, then you should start saving for a down payment and adjust your spending accordingly.
2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Find a trusted mortgage broker to help you through this process as well as educate you on different loan options. To get pre-approved, you will need to gather information such as pay stubs, tax returns, savings account, 401k, stock dividends, investment account statements, and more.
3. This is the fun part...start looking for an area or neighborhood you want to call home!
Hire a dedicated buyer's agent to guide you through the process from initial showings through the closing. This is an absolute must. We have an entire blog post on it here
4. Make an offer and don't be afraid to negotiate. Technically, your buyer's agent will be negotiating for you. Trust your real estate professional and don't be discouraged. It sounds cliche but it's true: what's meant to be, will be. If you can't make a deal, don't force it.
5. Take your home inspection seriously. Do your due diligence when hiring an inspector and be sure that they are reputable. They are responsible for making sure the home is in good order. Also, it is wise during this stage to research any HOA and outstanding contracts and warranties on the home.
6. Perform a walk-through before closing. Although the official inspection already took place, you want to do a walk-through to make sure that the home's condition is in accordance with the contract. Bring a copy of the contract with you to check that anything included is still present.
7. Congratulations on closing! Your buyer's agent should accompany you on closing day along with a real estate attorney to look over all closing documents. A smooth closing day should only take about an hour.