Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Buying a home for the first time can be really scary; suddenly you’re up to your elbows in bank documents and using words like en suite bathroom and pre-approved mortgage estimate like you really know what they mean. But before you freak out and throw up your hands in frustration, read these simple steps that make the process a heck of a lot easier and help you get exactly what you want:

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  • Know what you want. Make a list of things you definitely need, and also a list of things you don’t necessarily want; the latter will help your realtor not eliminate properties blindly from their list.
  • Pre-approved is the way to go. It’s definitely good to have an idea of what a bank will loan you before you start looking at houses way outside your budget.
  • However, you should also have a pretty good idea of what you yourself can pay monthly. A lot of what was in The Big Short went over our heads, but what we did gather was that sometimes banks approve loans that are not realistic for their customers.
  • Also on the money front, have a post-purchase budget in place. You’ll definitely want to make some changes to your new place, and having the cash to do at the ready will make the process much smoother.
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  • When you’re actually looking, consider the location before you consider the house itself. Is it in a good neighborhood? Are you happy with the commute to work? Do you like the schools in the area? The house is customizable, the location really isn’t.
  • Continue to look yourself, even when you have a realtor. You might catch something they don’t!
  • Consider all options. Just because you think you want a fixer-upper doesn’t mean you can’t find the house of your dreams in budget in the right place, and vice versa.
  • Don’t be shy asking about closing costs. You need the information to budget and tailor an offer.
  • Finally, once you have the house, look into refinancing your loan twice a year. The process is easy and it can save you a lot of money!
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