6 Best Real Estate Tips for Buying Your First Home
There are few things more exciting than buying your first home. When you find the perfect place there are all sorts of thoughts swirling through your head. ‘How should I arrange the furniture?’ ‘I can’t wait to get my garden started! ‘I have the perfect paint color in mind for this room.’ The house may seem great at first glance. But, there are some things you want to consider before signing on the dotted line. You want to make sure that the place is as perfect as it seems.
Check your credit:
If you have poor credit you risk being denied a mortgage. If credit is an issue you want to get this fixed. About a year before you start your search check your credit scores. If you see anything amiss you need to get that taken care of now. Are you behind on any bills? Try to get those paid off as soon as possible. Consider a side hustle or yard sale to pay your debts. Your goal is getting your credit score up, so you qualify for a mortgage loan.
First home budget:
You may pre-qualify or even be pre-approved for a large sum of money. But, that is different from what you can really afford. You need to make a budget before you start shopping. The mortgage lender doesn’t know your long-term financial plans, but you do. Make sure your mortgage fits into those plans. Consider what your monthly mortgage, closing costs, property taxes, potential HOA fees, and utility costs.
Wait on those large purchases:
You don’t want to throw off your mortgage approval by making huge purchases. Your lender is going to double check that you still qualify before they sign your approval. A large purchase could change your debt to income ratio negatively. Wait until you have signed off and the loan is yours before buying those big-ticket items.
Choose a great real estate agent:
You may be thinking you can get all the information you need from the Internet. But, you are purchasing a major asset. You want a professional on your side assisting you. They have connections with great inspectors, lenders, and lawyers that can help you too. But, not all agents are the same. You want to make sure you have a good real estate agent.
How do you find a good agent?
There are specific qualities you will want to look for in an agent. You want an agent that is right for you.
- Support: does the agent have a support staff available? Are they part of a larger organization? The agent cannot and should not be doing everything. A support staff is vital.
- Risk: you need an agent who can help mitigate your risk. How well do they understand the market performance in that neighborhood? Are there large changes anticipated in that county? A new school or apartment complex? Can the agent tell you what this means for you?
- Values: Your hard-earned money is on the line. You want someone who shares your same values and who values you.
Don’t believe the agent myths:
There are plenty of myths running around about real estate agents. For your benefit, it is important that you know the difference between myth and reality.
- All real estate agents are the same: A local agent can make a huge difference. They have valuable insights that an out of town agent won’t have. They know the neighborhoods, other agents, and the town’s history. They are looking to build a long-term relationship with you. They are not looking to cut you off when you buy the house.
- For Sale by Owner is feasible with an agent: Most FSBO sellers understand the complexity of real estate. They will compensate an agent if it means they sell their house.
- The commission is always 6%: That is a common commission amount, but it is negotiable. The agent doesn’t receive all of it either. It’s divided between the two brokerages and agents.
There’s nothing like buying your first home. But you want to do it right. A great plan and a supportive agent are tremendous assets. They help you find the house that you can call home.
At Team Chais, we help first-time home buyers with everything they need to get into the home of their dreams. To speak with the experienced professionals at Team Chais about buying or selling in Tampa, contact us today at (813) 928-4308 or chat with us online.