First Time Homebuyer Guide – 8 Tips
As with any other major purchase, buying a home requires much research, plenty of help and unending patience. And it can be overwhelming especially when you are a first time home-buyer because there are lots of things to consider during the process. Take these tips into consideration to make sure your buying experience is positive and that you are ready for the commitment of a new home.
- Identify the type of property you want and need
There is a huge variety of house, condos and townhomes available out there, and choosing one is perhaps the first big decision one needs to make. So first things first, you must identify the type of property you want and need.
What are you looking for in a home? Or more appropriately what sort of home fits your lifestyle? Is it for yourself or do you want to be ready for your future family? Would you prefer to live in a single family home with a yard, or a condominium where a property management office does the maintenance. How many bedrooms and bathrooms would you like to have?
- Know your budget
This requires a long hard look on your finances. Determine the price range you can afford and how much cash available for the down payment. Once you have determined your budget, you’ll then know what type of property you want and how much you can afford.
- Research the area or location you have in mind.
Once you identify your preferred type of home and budget it’s time to research the market on what’s available out there. Consider the accessibility of the location you have in mind. Is it near hospitals, schools, banks, commercial areas and more importantly, does the municipality where the property is located have good infrastructure to protect houses from natural calamities like floods?
- Seek help from real estate professionals
These are the people who definitely want to help you make that purchase successful. Real estate agents will locate several homes and locations that fit your needs, help you select the correct home, negotiate the terms and conditions and generally help you through the process.
- Know your developer
This is more important when buying new construction property. Why?
There are two types of developers. The top developers and the first time developers. Purchasing a house from top developers is nearly risk free because they have substantial capital and a track record of success, and moreover they are much concerned about their reputation. First time developers on the other hand, are doing business against the odds. Since they have no record of success in real estate development and because of their status, it’s hard or even impossible for them to access commercial loans to finance their projects.
- Take time for viewings and check the surrounding area
It is necessary that you see the actual home or unit you are going to buy because there are certain details that cannot be captured by a photo or video. Check also the view and the surrounding area. It is vital that the neighborhood and the view from your house impart a vibrant atmosphere. And yes, take photos of the properties you visit. This will help you remember when you decide which of the properties you visited suits you best.
- Have a list of less than 3 properties you like
There is a tendency to miss on the good part when you have too many to choose from. So as to not confuse yourself with too many choices, make a list of the properties you like and narrow down to less than three. Put them on a rank and take a second look at your top choices. Remember that this will be your permanent home for a long time so do not choose haphazardly. Make a list of pros and cons for each home in your shortlist.
Make sure that you have all the necessary documents with you when you are getting a bank to finance your home such as W2’s or bank statements. It pays to seek the help of a mortgage broker. Try also to talk to several institutions and compare their rates and terms. Approval may also depend on your credit history so make sure to sort that out before applying for one.