Helpful Tips for First Time Home Buyers

First Time Home Buyers Helpful Tips....

Here are a few tips to you help in preparing you for the purchase of your first home...

1.  Be realistic in what you want in a home, you can be choosy...but, do keep in mind that there is no perfect house...only you can make a house your perfect home.

2.  Before you start looking do your homework first...make a list of what features you want in a home and what ones are most important to you.

3.  Finances need to be in order...review your credit report and be sure to have the money for your downpayment and closing costs.

4.  Get pre-qualifed for a loan...don't wait.  Meet with a lender or lenders to see what loan products are available, what you are able to afford with the lifestyle you want, what product best fits your situation, and get pre-qualified for a mortgage before you start looking for homes.  Keep in mind to stay within your aloted budget. Also, some lenders offer down payment assistance grant programs for eligible First Time Home Buyers too. Remember to keep in mind the other costs of a mortgage loan and owning a home such as property taxes, homeowner's insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI), maintenance, homeowner association dues (usually for subdivisions or condominium and site condominium developments), etc...

5.  Advice...don't ask too many people for their opinions.  Asking too many people for their advice will drive you bonkers.  Your expectations of a home may not be someone else's expectations of a home.  Choose one or two people that you respect in giving advice if you feel you need an opinion in the decision making process. 

6.  Decide when you plan to move...Are you living with parents?  Are you renting?  When is your lease up?  Are you able to sub-let?  What is the rental market like in your area?  Are you able to live with parents, friends, or relatives until you are ready to move?

7.  Do think resale...If you are looking for a starter house with the thought of moving up in a few years or if you plan to stay in the house for a longer period of time, your decision to purchase should be based off those two lines of thought.  Depending on what you decide, this may determine what home to buy and what loan product terms that suits you best. 

8.  Do not allow yourself to be house poor...don't allow yourself to purchase a home at the very top of your price point range that you can't afford furniture, decorating, or maintenance of the home; or are not able to save money for other financial goals.

9.  Be informed on what you buy...it is important to get a Home Inspection of the home to know what you are buying.   A home inspection is an invaluable tool.  Also, getting a Home Warranty to cover defects of the home for the first year of purchase is a good idea too.

10.  Use the help of a buyer's agent...It is important to have a REALTOR® as a buyer's agent representing you.  A buyer's representative is working for you, unlike a listing agent whose duty is first to the seller.  Traditionally, the buyer's agent brokerage commission fee is paid for at closing from the seller side;  that amount is usually what the seller offers the buying brokerage listed on the MLS; a buyer may not have to pay an additional fee to the buying agent in representing them.

11.  Educate yourself...Go to www.HUD.gov and click on the "Buy a home"link to get more helpful information.  Educate yourself on the home buying process from types of mortgages to knowing what is included in closing costs.  There are mortgage calculators to help determine how much of a mortgage you can afford depending on your income and a mortgage payment calculator to determine how much your payments will be.  Or, go directly to HUD's website below...

The above information provided by HUD.gov, official website of HUD.

If you are a First Time Home Buyer and have any questions regarding the above tips, or are considering purchasing your first home in the Holland, Michigan or surrounding West Michigan Lakeshore Area communities, please contact Janice at #616-355-6326 for assistance.

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Janice VandenBerg

Janice VandenBerg

Associate Broker
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