And How To Avoid Them
Buying your first home is exciting! Odds are, you’ve saved and sacrificed and worked hard to make this moment a reality, and now here you are, eager to get out and start browsing through houses. But before you contact a real estate agent and get out there, give our crash course in first-time home buying a look for some tips and tricks to make the whole process easier from start to finish.
Talk To Several Lenders When You’re Getting Pre-Approved
The first step in buying a home is to figure out how much money you have to work with. Make sure you get pre-approved for a loan before you even begin shopping so that you have a realistic reference point from which to start searching. And don’t be afraid to shop around for lenders! With mortgage rates going up, it might pay to hunt around for the best rate and options. Never underestimate the power of lowering your rate even a little. It could save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.
Find An Experienced, Proven Professional
There are many realtors out there who do an excellent job. Before you contact a realtor, be sure to look at reviews online and ask trusted friends in the area for recommendations. Look for how long they’ve been in business, their awards or accolades, how well they know the area, and most importantly, listen to what the people around you are saying.
Ask your realtor questions about the area and the houses you’re looking at. Note: it’s okay if they don’t know the answer – nobody’s perfect – but if they don’t know, watch to see how promptly you get the information that you requested. If they drag their feet, you might want to look for someone else.
Don’t Buy A House With A Friend
Generally, we strongly recommend against buying a house with a friend. This is because when you co-sign on a loan, there’s always the possibility that one or the other person may eventually be unable (for whatever reason) to hold up their end of the bargain. As people go through life, they change. Their goals, dreams, and plans likely won’t look the same as they do now even five years down the road, and it’s generally better if neither you nor them are locked into a fifteen or thirty-year contract when there’s no guarantee that that contract will remain a good thing in either of your lives for that long. Yes, buying a house can be a very good investment and help you build wealth. But that’s only the case if it’s entered into under the right circumstances, and if you have control over its future.
As far as buying a home with a romantic partner goes, every situation is different. Only you two know whether that’s something that will help or hinder your relationship, but it is something that should be discussed, at length, before you enter into as large of a commitment together as buying a house.
If You Can Buy A House, Do
This isn’t necessarily true! This is one of the pieces of advice that we hear the most often, and while we generally tend to agree that buying a house is a good thing (we are realtors, after all), it’s simply not right for every situation. This is especially true if you may only be here temporarily; for example, if work or dreams might shortly take you elsewhere.
You also need to consider the burden that comes with homeownership. If your life is extremely busy and you can only afford a fixer-upper that’s not even move-in ready yet that’s going to take a lot of work, you may want to consider renting. Take a look at your life from multiple perspectives, discuss your thoughts with trusted family and friends, talk to a trusted realtor, and be very deliberate in making the decision to buy a house. When the time comes, you want it to be a blessing, not a burden.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us via email or phone and we would be happy to answer them!