First-Time Home Buyers
If you are a first-time home buyer, use this guide to learn helpful tips and common mistakes to avoid when buying your first home.
- Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
- Pre-Approval: To get pre-approved, you as the buyer must apply for a mortgage and receive a commitment in writing from a lender. Assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller will immediately know that you are a serious buyer for their property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
- List of Needs and Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes - things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. As a first-time buyer, you might not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
- Representation by a Professional: When you hire one of our buyer specialists at The Loken Group, you can rest easy knowing you have someone working exclusively for your best interests, ensuring the home buying process goes smoothly from start to finish.
- Focus and Organization: Keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
- One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
- A list or file of the properties that your agent has shown to you.
- Paper and pen to jot down notes as you search of features you like and dislike.
- Visualize the house empty and with your décor. Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
- Be Objective: Think with your head instead of heart when searching for a home. Does this home really meet your needs? There will always be other houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
- Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may ultimately save you a lot of money in the long run. Don't forget to:
- Include inspection and mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
- Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
- Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
- Check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).
The whole process may seem a little overwhelming, which is why it’s important to have a professional represent you who can keep track of all the details. Please contact us directly to get in touch with one of our agents.