5 Tips for the First-time Home Buyer

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Buying your first home can be an exciting but also overwhelming process! Here are 5 things you can do to start the process:

1. Figure out how much home you can afford & get pre-approved

Odds are you will need a home loan along with a down payment to be able to purchase a home. To estimate how much home you can afford, use our mortgage calculator to obtain a ballpark figure of what you can manage.

The standard rule of thumb is your monthly housing payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance combined) shouldn't be more than 28 percent of your household income before taxes. For example, if your monthly household income is $5,000, multiply that by 0.28 and you'll see that you shouldn't pay more than $1,400 a month on your home, including principal, interest, taxes and insurance.

The rules have changed and many lenders allow little or no down payment. Once you know how much you can afford, you can calculate what down payment you need.

For a no obligation assessment and more details, fill out the form at the bottom of this post to contact a lender to get pre-approved.

2. Choose a knowledgeable real estate agent

Purchasing a home requires plenty of paperwork so it's not something you want to try to navigate without an agent. Besides the leg work involved, a knowledgeable agent will be there to help you ask all the right questions. A home may look fine from the outside, but your agent might know what to ask that will reveal it's not as perfect as you thought.

You will want an experienced and knowledgeable agent by your side to explain the process and help you make the best decisions throughout the home buying process. Make sure to find an agent familiar with the area where you're planning on purchasing. Click here to begin your search for the agent who fits your needs.

3. Communicate your wants and needs

Along with determining your price range, you need to assess your wants and needs in a home and list them from first to last. Decide what you are willing to compromise on and what you aren't. Odds are you can't have it all, but you can most likely get your top priorities. Say you want a home with a 2 car garage, a fenced in large yard, and 3 bedrooms. This home exists in your price range but it might not be in the neighborhood you want to be in, or it might not be as new as you would like. Decide what you are willing to compromise on and what you aren't and communicate that to your agent. This will save you both time and energy you might waste on homes you know you won't like.

4. Do  your Research

Once you find a home you love and your offer has been accepted, you'll be anxious to move in. But, don't assume the deal is done. Before moving forward you should make sure you have some contingencies added to your contract such as the home inspection, appraisal and financing. A knowledgeable real estate agent is familiar with these topics and will assist you in including such contingencies in your contract. Click here to begin your search for the agent who fits your needs.

5. Don't forget about unexpected costs

Don't forget to account for closing costs, moving costs, and other additional costs you may need to pay for once you move into your new home, such as a lawnmower and furniture. Home ownership is an exciting and fun endeavor, but it can also come with unexpected costs that you will now cover as opposed to your landlord.

We hope you enjoyed our first time home buyer tips. If you'd like to get pre-approved or just learn more about the home buying process with no obligation, fill out the form below and one of our Mortgage Loan Officers will contact you with more information. Click here to learn more.

Fill out the form below if you'd like to learn more about the home buying process.


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty is an affiliate of HomeServices Lending, LLC.  Please speak to your real estate agent for more information on this affiliation.

HomeServices Lending, LLC does not offer loans in all states.
Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. Georgia Residential Mortgage License Number: 32253.
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of Registration: 490683 SM.501899.000; Ohio Mortgage Broker Act Certificate of Registration: 490683 MB.804161.000. Oregon Mortgage Lending License ML-5251.
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