Advice for First-Time Buyers
- Determine Comfortable Price Range: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home. Then determine if you are comfortable with that amount or if you would be more comfortable staying beneath the amount you qualify for.
- Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved (and you'll avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range). In this scenario, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming that the house you desire is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and often lenders will permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
- List of Needs & 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 wish list, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that aren't absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably won't get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you're looking for.
- Buyer Representation: It is in your best interest to be represented by a knowledgeable agent who will represent your interests. The best way to insure that you are protected is to engage the services of an agent who acts as a Buyer's Agent for you.
- Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many 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 save you big expenses in the long run. The North Carolina Offer to Purchase and Contract provides you with the right to have the following inspections:
- Home Inspection
- Wood Destroying Insect Inspection
- Radon Inspection
- Septic and/or Well Inspection if applicable
All of the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details is highly recommended. Please email me or call me directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.