If you have reached a point in your life where you are ready to buy a house for the first time, this post is for you! This can be an exciting and daunting time for first time home buyers. It is a process and it can seem overwhelming, leaving us wondering where to even begin. This is why I have put together some information to help you get started. I also developed a material packet (available at the bottom of this post) that includes checklists and reminders that you can print off and use once you decide you are ready to make your move.
Let's start at the first step that you should take...
Speak with your lender and get pre-approved.
- This is such an important step to your home buying journey. I have witnessed many home buyers who start shopping for homes thinking they know what they can get a loan for only to find out they have been looking in a price range that is too high. This normally leaves buyers disappointed and feeling as though they won't find a home they'll love inside of their budget. Get the pre-approval! This also lets sellers know how serious you are. Having that pre-approval letter lets them know you are ready to buy now.
Create Lists of Needs and Wants
- It is easy to get swept up in the excitement of looking at homes and forgetting about what will be the best fit for you. Creating a list of needs and wants will help keep you on track. Some examples of needs would include things like the number of bedrooms you need for your family size, a basement because it is tornado alley around here, or no stairs for accessibility reasons. Some wants may include things like a fireplace, a fenced in back yard, etc. When you look at homes, you can take your list to make sure you have everything you need and then see what "wants" that house can provide you as well.
Document Every Showing
- When you start looking at houses, it can be easy to get each house confused with another. It's important to know exactly what each property has to offer you. Take a pen and paper with you to take as many notes as necessary. Keep a file of the properties you have looked at to give you visuals and keep everything organized. If you have the ability to take video during your showings, do so. It will remind you what it felt like to walk through the property and how each house was laid out.
- Hire a Real Estate Professional that is there to represent you, the buyer. The agent on the sign in the yard works for the sellers. It is important to have your own representation. This puts someone in your corner, reminding you of your needs, wants and budget as a buyer. Your agent will negotiate and navigate the entire transaction once you do find the right fit. Especially for your first purchase, it is in your best interest to have your own agent, guiding you every step of the way.
I have put together a packet to keep you organized throughout your home search. Click below to receive it.