In a perfect world, the very first home your Realtor shows you will be The One. Then, your first offer will be accepted, the home will pass inspection with flying colors, the seller will pay all closing costs, and you will close on your home in less than 60 days. Birds will sing, the sun will shine, etc., etc.
The reality is that more often than not, your first time home buying experience will not be that easy. However, there are things you can do to avoid making costly mistakes.
1. Know your Budget and STICK TO IT! Before you even begin looking at homes, you need to establish a budget that includes everything, even the unexpected. Make sure you include things like moving costs, home insurance, flood insurance, home inspection, and closing costs in your budget. You can never be too safe when considering how much it is actually going to cost you at the closing table and beyond.
2. Know your credit score. If you do not know your credit score, you won’t know how banks will evaluate you as a candidate for a mortgage loan. In order to be eligible for the lowest interest rates possible, you will need to have a 700 or higher FICO score. If your FICO score is low, you will need ample time to repair it.
3. Define your Needs and Wants. You will waste your time and your agent’s time looking at homes that don’t match your criteria if you do not clearly communicate your needs and wants. Be sure to put your needs before your wants. There are many things you want in a home, but before making that first offer, make sure the home meets most of your needs. Buying a home that has more of your wants than your needs will cost you more money in the long run because you will most likely pay to add those features you need.
4. Get a home inspection. A home inspection is exactly that: a home inspection. a professional will carefully examine all areas of the home, even the areas that are not readily visible. This inspection will reveal if anything is wrong with the home and will give you a better understanding of any problems that need to be addressed. Not getting an inspection prior to closing, can be costly because you won’t be able to have the seller fix anything after closing.
Our team is ready to help you buy your first home! Call us today! 912-480-9177.