First-Time Home Buyer Tips

Did you know that the average age for first-time home buyers in the U.S. is around 33. The process for buying your first home at any age can be a stressful, time-consuming experience and in most cases will make you re-think the idea about buying a home in the first place. But it is worth it in the long run, after all the hard work, sweat and tears you will be the proud owner of your new home.

Kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, yard space what do you really need in a home? Here are a few tips to help you navigate these bumpy waters:

It’s all about the budget. 

Know your limits, set a budget, allow some wiggle room but stick to it. Know what your minimum and maximum limits are. If you buy too high you will run into the risk of having a upside down mortgage if you buy too low you run the risk of jumping on that renovation hamster wheel. Both can prove costly down the road. Before you start looking you need to figure out what you want in a home besides four walls and a yard. Ask yourself these important questions:

  • What is the most you can afford?
  • What is your ideal price range?
  • What can you live without?
  • Do you want to live in the city or suburbs?
  • Do you want a yard?
  • How long will you live in the house? Did you buy for the long haul or is this just a starter home?

The internet is a great way to help you get started. By using an online mortgage calculator you can determine the maximum monthly payment you can afford. The calculator can determine the amount of payments you will make based on the price of the home and down payment over a 15, 20, 30 or even 40-year-mortgage.

Some people will fall in love with a house that is more than they can afford. When including all your other fixed expenses, any possible renovations needed it is just more than you can afford it is time to time to move on. If you do end up purchasing this house you will end up with a upside down mortgage that will be hard to turn around and you could end up losing the house you love.

Take when you love about this house and look for similarities in other homes you can afford. If you are not sure what the budget should be set at then consult a loan officer to help you arrive at a figure. Once you know the maximum, the payments you can do and the length of time the mortgage will be you can move forward in finding the right home. Work with a reputable realtor that will steer you to the homes you can afford and not waste your time on those you can’t.

Make a list of the things you must have in your home.

Every home buyer will have a list of must haves, things you must have in the home you will eventually buy. Before you contact a realtor or loan officer, consider your lifestyle and values and ask yourself these questions:

  • What features would enhance you and your family’s lives?
  • What would make you miserable?

This is the start of your list of non-negotiables:

  • Location
  • Square footage
  • Amenities

Visit open houses in the area and get to know the local market you plan to purchase in. Get comparisons, look at features, find what you must have, don’t need or can add to your list. Based on what you see reevaluate your list, streamline and fine tune it, by doing this you can guide your realtor to the perfect home.

Learn all the expected closing costs.

When buying a home you also have closing costs. Closing costs have the fees for the property and realtors on both sides. Your realtors will have a rough estimate of what these costs are and in most cases can be a part of the negotiations.

Buying your first home can be a daunting experience. But if you plan it right, have all your information and know your facts you will end up with a house you will love. When you are ready to start your renovation projects, head over to PlumbTile, where our expert employees will be able to help you start any home renovation project. Let us help you turn your first house into the home of your dreams.