Five Tips For First-Time Homebuyers
Buying a home for the first time is a huge step and can sometimes seem to be a scary responsibility. If you are one of the many first time home buyers out there, keep these tips in mind as you shop for your new home.
1. Work with a reputable agent.
Good real estate agents will work with you to help you find the perfect home for your needs and for your budget. Don’t navigate the real estate waters for the first time on your own. A real estate agent will explain paperwork, help you with negotiation, and guide you past common real estate pitfalls. A good agent will end up saving you money, so the commission is more than worth it.
2. Get your loan pre-approved.
Work with your mortgage company to get your loan pre-approved before you start house-shopping. This will save you the heartache of finding the home of your dreams and then being unable to get the mortgage paperwork in line before someone else picks up the house.
3. Know your budget and stick to it.
Be sure that you can easily afford the payments before you sign on the dotted line. Remember that homeownership means that you will be responsible for things like repairs and maintenance, so make sure that you leave room in the budget for unexpected expenses when you are deciding how much you can afford.
4. Find a reliable home inspector.
No matter how much you love a house, it can become your biggest headache if you find surprising issues with it after you have already bought it. A home inspector will check for termite damage, electrical issues, and other important problems. Don’t sign for a house until you know for sure whether or not it needs expensive repairs.
5. Fully understand all fees and charges.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand fees and charges. Your real estate agent should be able to explain to you any items that you don’t understand. Buying a home costs more than just a mortgage. You may also be responsible for closing costs, HOA fees, insurance, and taxes.
Buying a home is a big responsibility, but a good real estate agent will walk you through this rite of passage. For advice on real estate in California, call your Santa Barbara real estate expert, Karen Spechler. Contact me today! I will be glad to get you started on the path to homeownership.