You're in the home stretch. Only a few papers stand between you and
getting the keys to your first home. But don't get carried away. You may
want to request, from your real estate agent or mortgage broker, a draft copy of any documents to preview before the actual closing date [source: Bray, Schroeder and Stewart].
This will take away some of those emotional jitters and also allow you a
bit more time to make sense of what you're signing. Don't be shy -- if
you don't understand something, then ask your personal team of
professionals to explain further. Be especially careful with any numbers
that might be on the forms. A couple of wrong keystrokes could mean
trouble down the road.
To feel more confident in what
they're signing, some buyers even hire a lawyer to represent their
interests during a closing process and explain any legal jargon in
layman's terms. Others bring along a parent or trusted friend who's
already gone through a closing process, with them.
Buying a home is a big leap, but
doing your research and involving the right people can make your home
buying experience one that will soon have you saying "Home Sweet Home"
with a smile.
2: Get a Home Inspection
Imagine biting into a pristine red apple,
just to find that it's turned to mush inside. You don't want this to be
the feeling you get with your new home. This is where a home inspection
comes in. The inspection should make you aware of what might be hiding
in the walls or underneath the floors before you finalize the sale. If
the home inspector finds a major problem, you'll be very excited you
spent the money to have the home inspection. If not, then you can be
even more confident in your investment.
Choosing a home inspector can be
tricky, because some states license or certify home inspectors, while
others don't. When selecting your home inspector, you may want to check
with associations, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors and
the National Association of Home Inspectors, that require that members
abide by certain standards and a set of ethics
3: Understand the Offer Process
You've found the house of your dreams, and you're ready to start the
process of making it your own. Well, that all begins with making an
offer. While there's no way to know exactly what type of offer the
seller will accept, when making your offer you should take into account
several things. Knowing how long the house has been on the market, the
asking price's position related to comparable properties in the area,
and even the number of available comparable properties in the
neighborhood can make a difference. Realize that negotiation is usually
inevitable, so be sure to leave a little leeway within that first offer.
Make sure that your offer includes contingencies such as financing and property inspections [source: Brown and Tyson].
You don't want to be bound to purchase a home if you don't have enough
money. You also don't want to purchase a home that has a cracked
foundation or some other deal breaker without having the option to go
back to the negotiation table.
4: Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent
is your insider to the world of home buying, and the right agent can be
a real asset to have on your side when buying your first home. You want
someone you can trust and who will give you quality advice when you
need it. So, talk to people you already trust. Friends and family
members in the area might be able to offer some names of people they've
used. Now, this won't work if you're moving to a new city. If you're
relocating with a company, the company might be able to offer some
Many real estate agents
specialize in certain areas of town or types of property, so ask your
prospective agents how many homes they've sold in your target area or
what type of certifications they hold to see if they fit your needs
You may want to look into hiring a Realtor, which just means that your
real estate agent is a member of the National Association of Realtors
and has pledged to abide by a code of ethics set out by the group
5: Get Pre-approved for a Loan
Getting pre-approved for a loan is kind of like getting engaged.
You have a commitment, but you still have to make it to the altar --
or, in this case, the closing table. Just like picking that special
someone you want to spend the rest your life with, lenders like to know a
little bit about you and have it backed up with facts.Pre-approval will help you to
understand how much you can expect to borrow from your lender. Knowing
your spending range can help to narrow your home search to properties
within your price range. It can also give sellers a little more
confidence in your seriousness when making an offer [source: Brown and Tyson].
6: Look into First-time Home Buyer Programs
Recently, there's been a lot of media attention around the tax credit
that was offered to qualified first-time homebuyers [source: Internal Revenue Service].
Even if you're too late to get on the bandwagon for that incentive,
being a first-time home buyer can have its perks. Some banks and
governmental organizations offer first-time home buyers who meet certain
criteria lower interest rate loans, low down payment options and even
down payment assistance programs.One particular program through
the federal government that's popular with many first-time home buyers
is the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan program, which usually
offers smaller down payments and can be more accessible to those without
perfect credit [source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development].
7: Explore Mortgage Options
Since most people aren't going to pay for their house with cash at
the closing table, you're probably going to have to take out some type
of loan or mortgage. A mortgage is simply a loan that uses a piece of property, like your new home, as collateral, giving the bank the right to take the home if the person taking out the mortgage doesn't hold up his or her end of the bargain [source: The Federal Reserve Board].
Think about your long-term plan
when you're exploring your mortgage options. You might be one of those
people who never plans to buy another home, so maybe you're more
interested in a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. However, another couple
might look at this home as a starter property that they only want to own
until their second child is born. They might want an adjustable rate
Shopping around for a mortgage is
also a good idea. Different banks may be able to give you different
interest rates or different terms. When doing your shopping, be sure
that you're comparing apples to apples, so ask about the same types of
loans, terms and amounts to get a better understanding of what's really
the best deal for you [source: The Federal Reserve Board].
8: Prioritize Your Needs and Wants
Face it -- when working within a budget, sometimes you have to make
some compromises. Knowing what you really need can help narrow your home
options and also make decisions easier when it comes to making an
Create a checklist of your needs
and wants. Don't forget to include things that aren't actually a part of
the house, but important, such as the neighborhood, commute, school
system and even proximity to entertainment [source: The Better Business Bureau with Alice LaPlante].
Once you've got your prioritized
list, consider taking it with you when you go to look at houses, and
write down notes about each house. After seeing four different houses in
one Sunday, these lists can help you to remember what you've seen and
liked -- or not liked.
9: Know How Much You Can Afford
Setting your heart set on the beautiful five-bedroom,
three-and-a-half-bath estate on the hill could set you up for
disappointment if you don't know what you can afford.
Instead of just leaving a cushion
in your bank account so your next check won't bounce, you want to sit
down and look seriously at your average monthly budget. Take a hard look
at what you're spending your money on -- everything from your
restaurant bills to your dry cleaning
bill (but not your rent). Then, figure out what you have left after you
pay all of those bills. That's what you'll have left to spend on your
monthly mortgage and home expenses [source: Bray, Schroeder and Stewart].
Don't forget to factor in all new home-related expenses such as
insurance, possibly increased utility bills, taxes and even the
occasional plumber visit [source: Bray, Schroeder and Stewart].
If those numbers aren't adding up
to what you want, then take this as a starting point to buckle down and
change your spending ways. Skip your daily latte or pack your lunch for
a couple months, and see if your budget numbers change for the better.
10: Attend a First-time Home Buyer's Seminar
You had to study up to learn how to drive before you got behind the
wheel. It's the same with buying a house. Making the wrong decision on
your first house can come back to haunt you, so why not take a little
time to learn from the pros and go straight to the head of the class
with your investment knowledge?
First-time home buyer seminars
are offered by a range of organizations, including city housing
departments and non-profit organizations. You'll get tips on shopping
for a home, financing a purchase and even maintaining your home once
you've bought it. Plus, many of the seminars are free.
About Keller Williams Marketplace - Brenkus Realty Network
Rick and Teri Have been top producers for over 30 years in the Southern Nevada and have been ranked in the top 50 agents in the US by the Wall Street Journal out of over 1.3 million agents. They have sold over 7,000 homes in both stable and challenging markets. Their strategies and incredible systems to represent buyers and sellers can not be matched! Sellers enjoy netting top dollar in the least amount of time with their massive marketing and ability to stay ahead of the curve! This Top Producing Team has consistently been in the top 1% of agents Nationally for the last 30 years. They are national speakers and are highly sought after by many who want to get to the next level in their business. They also serve on Professional Standards at the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors and are Senior Faculty Instructors. Their list of credentials are endless!
Before you make any decision to Buy, Sell or Invest in Real Estate, be learning based and discover all the benefits, strategies and techniques Rick and Teri Brenkus offer to their clients..... You will be glad you did!!! 702-456-5959