First time buyer? Top Tips for Becoming A New Home Owner
Love at first sight happens, especially when you're house hunting. That kind of attraction can be exhilarating and exciting, but it can also be excruciatingly painful if it does not last, or if it ends in disappointment either before or after you actually call a home your own.
Rather than hoping to be swept off your feet by the perfect home, it might be better to look for the type of home in which you can build a lasting relationship by getting familiar with one another over time. The analogy isn't perfect, but you get the point. A home that you can grow to like -- a lot -- while living together might not be a stunner in the short term. It might, in fact, have some flaws that you will want to address. But it is often wiser to seek the potential in a home rather than perfection, and to consider long-term home suitability rather than short-term infatuation.
By keeping your options open and focusing on the possible during your home search, you should be able to realize the dream of home ownership while being true to your initial search criteria. It's an investment of time and energy, as well as money. Buying a home is also the largest single investment most people make. Make it a wise choice.
Here are some tips for avoiding common first-time home buyer frustrations:
1) Know Your Home Buying Limits
Thinking you can afford a certain price and actually being pre-qualified for a specific amount are two different things. Today, it is always better to make pre-qualification your first priority, especially if you're a first-time home buyer. Not only will it save heartache by putting a certain limit on your home buying dreams, but also it will save time and allow you to make a confident offer when you find that special property.
2) Approach Your Home Search with a Plan
House hunting is a task that requires time and effort. Assess your options, whether you're moving to urban or suburban communities or anywhere else. Read about neighborhoods, talk to locals, gather information. At the very least, do some "homework" in advance.
Don't ever expect to find your new home in a single day. That really only happens on television! In fact, you might have to submit multiple offers before you reach a binding contract, especially in a competitive real estate market. Connecting with a reputable real estate agent sooner than later can save you time, money, and frustration - especially when budget is tight. Don't delay!
3) Expand Your Home Search
We all know the mantra, "Location, Location, Location." In real estate, it is true that location usually trumps everything. Nevertheless, don't limit your home search to a single neighborhood instead, keep an open mind.
The key about "location" is to be flexible, and to make decisions based upon accurate information and realistic expectations. Home buyers who remain fixated on a particular area, are much more likely to make mistakes and or overextend themselves financially.
4) In Home Buying Patience is a Virtue
It's a kindergarten lesson that has applications for house hunters as well. Buying a home is a long-term commitment. Know that even if your search extends longer than you wish, it is wise not to make a snap decision - patience is required.
When seeking to buy your first home, prepare to be tugged in different directions, but then resolve to let your mind rule over the heart. Finally, get your financial affairs in order before you begin your search, and you'll be less likely to be disappointed.
5) Rely Upon Your Full-Service Real Estate Agent!
One of the best ways to avoid common home buying pitfalls is to work with a knowledgeable and reputable real estate agent. You will find that most agents value the relationship and are with you for the long-haul. Simply be honest about your wants and needs, and your time frame - and be sure to share your "wish list" as well as a "must have" list with your agent.
Keeping in mind the above... you'll be well prepared for the house hunt, and on your way to your buying your first home.