5 Tips for Buying Your First Home - Your Wild Home

5 Tips For Buying Your First Home

October 27, 2016 , In: Advice, Real Estate , With: 7 Comments

Have you noticed yourself eyeing up the For Sale signs in the area? Are you looking at your bank account and the loan interest rates? Thinking that this just may be the time to scout the possibility of home ownership? Does the prospect both excite you and make you break out in hives? Buying your first home is a big deal, and though others will tell you not to sweat it, it’s a process that shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, that doesn’t mean you need to break into a sweat every time you walk into a potential home. With a little insight into smart home buying, you’ll be well on your way to a new set of keys and a home to call your own. Here are five tips to help you in the process:

Get Pre-approved First

Before you start looking at homes, you’ll want to make visiting the bank your first priority. There’s no sense looking at houses if you’re unsure whether or not you can afford them. The mortgage originator will be able to set you up with a pre-approval letter that you can take with you when you begin browsing. The point of the preapproval letter is to let the real-estate agent know that you are truly a solid candidate for the property they are showing you.

To get pre-approved, the bank will pull your credit history. It’s absolutely essential that you’ve been paying your bills on time to have a good credit score. Those with the best credit history, of course, will be privy to the best loan rates and banks will be more willing to take a chance on you as a home-buyer.

Make a List of Must-Haves

It’s important that you know what you want, what you must have and what you can live without. Create a list to reflect these needs and wants, so you walk into a showing with the upper hand. Use your list to weed out homes that don’t live up to your must-haves, and keep in mind what you are willing to compromise on should a home fit your musts.

Do Preliminary Browsing Online

Now that you’ve got your pre-approval letter, you can start doing some early browsing online. Sites like Trulia and Zillow make it easy to view houses in your price range. Use these sites as tools to view what property taxes are like in the area you are interested in and to help you calculate what your monthly payment would be. Be sure to look at the property descriptions and compare them to your list of must-haves. If the home doesn’t cut it on paper, chances are, it won’t cut it in real life.

Once you’ve found a few that you’re interested in, contact your real-estate agent.

Find a Successful Realtor

Your real-estate agent is one of the most important parts of the home-buying process. You want to find an agent you can trust to remain on your side and to work to your benefit. Look at their credentials to see what kind of real-estate coaching they’ve had. Don’t be afraid to ask for references from other clients who have used them. Bankrate.com has some great advice on selecting a real-estate agent.

Browse Homes for Structure, Rather Than Cosmetics

Take the list of houses you were interested in and ask your real-estate agent to set up showings for those homes. Take your list of must-haves with you on the home tour. Be sure that all parties who have decision power are able to attend. Be open to what you see, recognizing that cosmetic changes are just that: cosmetic. Look, instead, at the structure of the house, the type of heating costs that are associated with the lot, and whether or not the neighborhood suits your needs.

Home buying is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Follow these five simple tips to get yourself going on the right track. Soon, you’ll be navigating your way to your own set of keys to the home of your dreams.

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Editor at Your Wild Home
Hey! I'm Megan. I am a dog-lover and enjoy exploring the outdoors. Your Wild Home covers a lot of topics, including (but not limited to) home improvement, home decor, construction, real estate, and sustainability. I enjoy writing in third-person and I am addicted to chocolate, coffee, and terrible puns. Learn more on my About Me page!
5 Tips for Buying Your First Home
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5 Tips for Buying Your First Home
After a few years, renting can get old. If you're looking to settle down and buy a home, here are 5 tips for buying your first home.
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Your Wild Home
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  1. Reply

    Thanks for bringing to my attention the value of getting pre-approved when buying a house. My husband and I have decided that we’d like to settle down somewhere, so we want to buy our first house. Maybe we could get pre-approved for a loan so we know exactly how much we can afford and so sellers know we’re serious about buying.

  2. Reply

    Great job writing this article Megan. For first-time home buyers, the process can be quite scary, but it shouldn’t be. You tip about structure over cosmetics is a very good one. It’s easy to fall in love with aesthetics while having some important structural issues slip through the cracks – literally. Keep up the great posts!

  3. Reply

    My favorite part of this read was the part where you talked about finding a successful real estate agent, and hiring them to help you find your home. If they are successful, they are likely well connected and could help you get information on all the homes that will be going up for sale soon. With this ability, it would allow you to land a great home that might otherwise be unobtainable. Thanks for the tips.

      • Megan
      • April 19, 2017

      Thanks for reading, Rachel!

  4. Reply

    My husband and I are recently married. We are looking to buy our first home, and we want to do everything possible to make this a smooth process. Like you said, we will be sure to make a list of our needs and use this to narrow down the list as well as keep in mind what we are willing to compromise.

      • Megan
      • June 29, 2017

      Congratulations & thanks for reading Annika! 🙂

  5. Pingback: What You Should Know Before Buying Your First Home - MedSchool Financial

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