It is a little nerve racking buying your first home, the uncertainty of it all. Not knowing where to start or who to ask questions can be scary and over whelming.
It seems that most buyers begin by driving around looking a homes or searching on the internet. This is a good way to see what is available to purchase. However, when you get serious about purchasing a home you should do the following.
1. Get preapproved, preferably with a local lender. Credit unions are good, but usually have more stringent lending requirements. If they can’t get you approved check with another lender. If your current credit score is too low, not all is lost—learn how to improve it.
2. Check a couple lenders to see what they offer for interest rates and fees and types of loans. All lenders have different fees. Don’t pay too much.
3. Find a full time realtor who works in the area that you want to buy. Someone you feel comfortable with and is knowledgeable about the area. Work with one Realtor, that person can open any listing regardless of the sign in the front yard. A majority of for sale by owners will also work with a realtor.
4. Be realistic in what you are looking for. This is probably not going to be your dream home. You are looking for something that is NOT a money pit and that will hopefully appreciate in 5 years or so when you decide you want to move up.
5. Make sure you hire a licensed home inspector, so you know what you are buying. It may not be perfect but you don’t want any crazy surprises either.
6. Listen to your lender and realtor—Don’t make any large purchases prior to closing. Don’t quit your job, or move money between accounts. Disclose to your lender all your finances up front. Surprises the week of closing are not fun.
7. Enjoy the journey of the American Dream. And don’t be afraid to ask questions, remember you haven’t done this before so there is no dumb question.
I would love to help you find your first home. Feel free to call me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website at http://www.sandiwalker.net