Buying a home for the first time? Congratulations! If navigating this new process seems scary, don't worry...you're not alone. Realtor.com® recently released a new book titled "The Essential First-Time Home Buyer's Book." Below are five hot starter tips from the book to help you with your first home purchase.
Identify your home buying power. Understanding how much house you can afford can give you a leg up when it comes to buying a new home. Estimating your monthly housing payments using the realtor.com® Home Affordability Calculators can help to determine how much monthly mortgage payment you can afford and calculate a feasible home price range.
Give up unnecessary expenses and save more. Saving cash for a down payment takes time. A good way to get started is to trim unnecessary spending. Find simple ways to save extra cash, like skipping the extra coffee and saving that money in a dedicated account so you can watch your progress. If you struggle to save, automating the process can help. You can have your employer deposit some of your paycheck into a savings account or have your bank automatically deposit money into your savings account.
Work with a local agent. Purchasing a new home is a huge financial decision that can be fairly complicated. Work with a local real estate agent who has the experience, negotiating chops, a large network and local knowledge to help get you through the process to close on the right home for you.
Interview several real estate agent. It's wise to connect with several agents before deciding who you'll work with in your home-buying journey. Ask questions like:
- How long have you worked in real estate?
- How long have you lived in the area?
- Do you have a team, or do you work alone?
- What's your schedule like?
- Are you taking any time off in the next few months?
Create a must-have list and stick with it. Before you begin your search, write down the non-negotiable features your new home needs. The more specific you can be, the better. If a home doesn't have everything on the list, skip seeing it to avoid compromising. For the listings that do have all your must-haves, document your open house or showing visits by taking notes and photos of each property so you can review them later when making a decision on which house is right for you.