We all have so many “first” times for important mile stones in our lives. Our first steps, our first love, our first job. Now finally, here you are, a…FIRST TIME HOME BUYER!
You’ve probably heard this can be an incredibly stressful time. We’ve all heard the horror stories, I even have one of my own. Yes, I’m the Realtor® that had a horrible “first time home buyer” experience. But I’ve lived to tell it and now my goal is to make sure your story is a good one.
I’ve been volunteering at The Village Family Services facilitating a portion of the Home Buyer Education Program several times throughout the year for many years now. Although not everyone takes these classes before buying their first home, I’ve seen countless buyers go through them and come out feeling the class left them better prepared for buying their first home.
In addition to my many hours working with buyers of varying levels of experience, I made the commitment long ago to provide all of my “first time home buyers” with a FREE 1 year home warranty. I want your first experience with me to be fun, educational and as stress free as possible. This gift to you, (a value of $429) lets you know I have your back long after we’re done working together.
It’s important to know what goes into the process of buying a home. This short synopsis of the steps involved will give you an idea of what goes into being a FIRST TIME HOME BUYER.
- Find a Realtor—As a buyer, the first thing you should know is that the buyer does not pay any Realtor® fees. (This may not apply if we’re talking about For Sale By Owners). The seller pays the agent’s commission on the buyer’s and the seller’s sides. Therefore, there is just no good reason not to have an experienced, licensed Realtor® representing you as a buyer. As a seasoned, trained professional, this is my full time job…I’m here to help!
- Find a Lender—Stop in at your bank, get a name from a friend or ask your Realtor® to recommend someone they trust. Your mortgage lender will tell you exactly how much you can afford to buy based on your debt, your income and your credit score as well as how much you’ll need for a down payment. You need to be pre-approved by a lender before any seasoned agent will take you to see homes.
- Stop spending—Staying within a budget is always important, but even more so than at this time. Your lender will continue to check your bank statements and expenditures and any needless spending could seriously hurt your buying power.
- Searching for homes—Communication is key! Your Realtor® is searching for homes based on the information you’ve given him or her. You already know what price range you’re in but there are so many more variables…location, style, what are your needs and priorities?
- Making an offer—Your agent is there to negotiate for you. You’ll spend some time talking about the list price vs. what you’d like to offer, taking into consideration the type of market you’re in and what else you’re asking for. Other terms such as the closing date, the closing costs you’re asking the seller to pay, personal items you’re asking for are all part of the offer as a whole.
- Getting the loan—There is no end to the amount of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction…really! And your lender is no exception. After your offer has been accepted by the seller, it will be submitted to the lender. The lender will require lots of information from you and you’ll have some deadlines to meet so be ready.
- Insurance—You’ll be required to have a home insurance policy in place prior to closing so start calling around. Or once again, ask your friends or your Realtor® for a referral.
- Closing—There will be many details between this step and your first step, but eventually you’ll get here. This process can be exhilarating, and scary, fun and exhausting. It can also be the most rewarding thing you’ve done in your life to date.
If you put yourself in the hands of a caring professional this “first” for you can be so much more than you expected…I would love to be there for your first time.