Most first-time home buyers share two common goals: purchase a home they really like and get an affordable mortgage. However, there are common blunders people make when working towards these two goals. Here are some tips for first-time home buyers that will help you avoid those common mistakes.
Get a Mortgage Pre-Qualification
Pre-qualification is a great reality check. You will find out right away what kind of price range you can afford. If you are working with a real estate agent, she will most likely ask for a letter of pre-approval before submitting your offer to the owner of the home.
Make Sure to Allow for Additional Expenses
The monthly mortgage payment is just the beginning of expenses for a new homeowner. There are several other recurring expenses such as property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, utilities, and repairs. (Some loans will include property taxes and insurance.) Even if the home is brand new, at some time in the future a pipe will leak, the heater will need a tune up, and the roof will need a patch. Budgeting for these expenses in advance will make things much easier on you in the long run.
Consider Some Sweat Equity
The home that you truly love may simply be unaffordable. It is better to get into a house that you can afford and spend a few weeks working on new paint and yard clean-up than to get in to a place that takes all of your discretionary money.
Be Happy with the Home, but Also Be Reasonable
This point is similar to the previous point. Some people have it in their head that they MUST have an extra bedroom for entertaining guests or relatives or they MUST have a big yard for the dog. Sometimes it is better to get a home that is easy to afford and let go of the extras.
Be Sure to Get a Home Inspection
Since this is your first time to purchase a home, it makes a lot of sense to spend the extra funds on a home inspection. A trained professional will be able to spot things that you may have missed in your short review of the home. The inspection can confirm that you are getting a good home or it can save you the pain of buying a lemon.
What are the Future Plans for the Area
Ask your real estate agent if there are major plans for your area. A new interstate, new school, or a new shopping district could have tremendous impact on the value of your home, as well as the enjoyment of the neighborhood.
Be alert and follow some sound advice. It can keep you from buying the wrong property and ensure that you truly get a lot of enjoyment from the most important purchase of your life!
When you are ready to buy your first home, give me a call at 802-858-9193 or email me. I’d be happy to show you some homes in beautiful Pleasant Valley, Underhill, Vermont… and beyond.