Ten Smart Tips For First Time Home Buyers
If you're contemplating buying your first home, you already know that homeownership makes good financial sense. Purchasing a home allows you to build equity—a wise investment in your future—and homeowners enjoy the largest tax break most consumers will ever see. With reduced interest rates, large inventories on the market, lower prices, and builders' incentives on new homes, the time may be right to make your dream come true.
But all that said, choosing and financing a home can be a bewildering—even overwhelming—prospect for many first-time home buyers. Buying a home is, after all, one of the biggest and most important purchases most consumers will ever make. To take some of the mystery out of the process and reduce stress, keep in mind the following tips courtesy of the Gabe Sanders BlueWater Realty Team.
1. Understand the lifestyle you're choosing. As a renter, you simply call the landlord when things go wrong. As an owner, you'll be responsible for repairs and maintenance.
2. Obtain a copy of your credit report and know your credit score. Your credit score will affect your ability to get a mortgage and the interest rate you'll pay. Look for errors in your credit report that could be affecting your score. Negative information should be deleted after seven years, or 10 years in the case of bankruptcies. If you need help finding reputable credit or lending institutions, give the Gabe Sanders BlueWater Realty team a call, we can help.
3. Pay off your debt. After correcting errors, the quickest way to improve your credit score is to pay down credit card balances.
4. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Talk to your lender now to avoid disappointments later. You'll know what you can afford, and you'll be taken more seriously when you submit an offer.
5. Choose a real estate agent. Start by asking family, friends or co-workers for referrals. Drive through the areas you have in mind and note the names on the “for sale” signs to find an agent who knows the neighborhood. (We would very much appreciate it should you choose the Gabe Sanders BlueWater Realty team!)
6. Choose a neighborhood in a good school district. Even if you don't have children and don't plan to start a family, the school district's reputation may be important when it comes time to sell. Quality schools are a top priority for many buyers.
7. Record your house hunting experience. Use a digital camera to take photos, and include the house number in the first photo of each series for identification purposes. Take plenty of detailed notes. Immediately after leaving each home, rate it on a scale of 1 to 10.
8. Learn about the community. Don't make the mistake of falling in love with a house before you know the community. How does the neighborhood suit your lifestyle? What amenities does the community offer?
9. Meet your neighbors. Introduce yourself to your prospective neighbors and tell them you're thinking of buying a home in the neighborhood. Ask them what the neighborhood is like, and how they like living there. You may be surprised at what you learn.
10. Hire a home inspector. Your lender will require an appraisal to ensure the house is worth the price you've agreed to pay. You should also hire your own experienced home inspector to point out potential problems that may require expensive repairs in the future.
Looking to buy your first home in the Martin County or Port St. Lucie , FL area? Get automatic email updates of properties that you are looking for by filling out this form or call us at 1-772-323-6996. Let the Gabe Sanders BlueWater Realty team help make your first real estate experience a success!