Buying a home is a thrilling and often emotionally stressful process especially if this will be your first home. A prepared buyer will definitely be head of the ballgame. With just a little bit of prework, you’ll be ready to purchase your first home in no time. To get you started on your road to homeownership, I’ve created a simple checklist to help guide you along:
Get Your Finances in Order: Very few of us can actually purchase our first home with cash. Unless of course, you’ve won the lottery or a relative left you a large inheritance. Doing a financial check-up really does get the process off on the right foot:
First check your credit report to see if there is anything incorrect reported and get that resolved
Check to see if there are any first time home buyer programs that you might qualify for.
Talk to your banker/lender. See what programs they have and get pre-approved. You might want to shop around with several lenders to see where you can get the best rates and who you’d really like to work with. Once you’re pre-approved, it time to move onto the next step
Research Neighborhoods: Do you want to live in town, close to schools, shopping, and entertainment? Or do you prefer a country home away from the hustle and bustle? Do you need to be in a specific area because of work or are you totally open? Things to think about as you narrow down areas to search are:
Commuting time to work
Are the services you need available in the area
Now it’s time to Make Your List: Rarely does the perfect home come along. Even if you were to build a home from scratch, it would not be uncommon to say “I wish I would have________” after actually living in your new home. So as you list things that are important to you or things you must have, remember that you will most likely not find everything. Your list should include:
Price (you already know what you can spend based on your pre-approval)
How big: how many square feet do you need or at least how many bedrooms & bathrooms?
Single Family? Condo?
One story? Two Story? Master on the first floor? Split floor plan?
Contact a Realtor: If you thought getting pre-approved and putting a list together was tough, want until you have to navigate the home buying process. This is where your realtor comes in. In addition to taking you to visit homes that meet your requirements, your realtor can also guide you through the entire process. From gathering documents, to helping with inspections, your realtor is there to help!
Being prepared to start your home search is an important first step. Follow my guidelines and when you are on the final step, Call me!