Buying your first home? What an exciting and often confusing time! As a first-time homebuyer, you’ll need to make decisions that will affect your entire life, which can be an overwhelming prospect for many people. To help you make the right decisions during this time, we’ve put together a few helpful tips you may not already know.
1. Get Your Financial Ducks in a Row First
Before making an offer on a house, be sure your financial ducks are in a row, so to speak. Get a pre-approval for a mortgage before you begin house hunting, so you know how much home you can afford.
A word of caution here: if you enjoy certain hobbies or entertainment, be sure to take this cost into consideration when looking for a house. The last thing you want to be is “house poor” where once you make your house payment, you have no money left to do the things that you enjoy.
2. Pay Attention to Your Life Stage
Buying your first home has less to do with the market being right and more to do with what stage you are in your life. While real estate experts recommend buying a home in a “buyer’s market,” you must focus on buying a home when it’s right for you. Regardless of where the market is when you’re ready to buy, get yourself a good real estate agent who knows the local area and can recommend homes that best suit your preferences and needs.
3. Go Where the Jobs Go
If you’re looking to buy in an “up and coming” neighborhood, do some research first to find out what the economy is doing in that area. If there is an upswing in job growth, or any big tech companies are moving in, it’s a sign that the area will be experiencing a big economic growth as well.
4. Find the Sweet Spot
There’s an area where good real estate deals abound, but you need to be willing to look just outside the “hot” spot to find it. Located between the super-nice neighborhoods and the “fringe” is an area of nice homes and neighborhoods where great real estate deals can be found. As a first-time homebuyer, you have a lot of opportunities for equity growth in these areas.
5. Make Offers Early in the Week
If you’re ready to make an offer on a home, try to do it on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday to get the best deal. On these days, sellers are likely distracted with work and kids’ schedules, and there are likely fewer offers coming in. If you wait until the weekend to make an offer, there will probably be more offers and less distraction, making it possible your offer will get less attention.
6. Have an Exit Strategy
Buying a home is a long-term investment. Anything can happen while you’re still making mortgage payments, so it’s important you have an exit strategy should something happen, and you need to get out.
Buying your first home is exciting, but it’s also a confusing time, too. Hopefully, the tips above will be helpful as you buy your new home.