A First Time Homebuyer’s Guide
You’ve been out on your own for a while, secured a great career, and now you’re ready to take the next step in adulthood – Home Ownership. You have heard that real estate is a good investment and home values are on the rise again, so you have decided it’s time to trade in a rent payment for a mortgage note. Before you make the leap, educate yourself on the process and take your time researching your options. Becoming a homeowner is a big commitment and comes with a lot of responsibility. Consider these DO’s and DON’Ts before you purchase your first home.
Do – Know Before You Go
If you don’t have the cash to pay for your home in full and let’s be realistic – who does, it is imperative to get a prequalified mortgage. This should not be a fearful process, but a comforting step. Knowledge gives you power. Not only will you not waste time looking at homes that exceed your means, but you also bring negotiating power to the table over other interested parties. Your closing will also transpire faster and easier when you are pre-approved.
Don’t – Hit The Ceiling
With all the excitement of becoming a homeowner, many first-time buyers begin their search at the top or above their budget instead of at or below their budget. Take into consideration your down payment, home-owners’ insurance, utilities, repairs, and aesthetic improvements you’d like to make. Expenses add up quickly and to ensure some wiggle room with your finances, look at homes that are under your maximum budget.
Do – Your Homework
As you are touring homes, make sure you ask a ton of questions. Bring a pad and paper with you and take note of the different features. How old is the roof? When was the heating and air unit replaced or serviced? Are double paned windows installed? What is the neighborhood like? Is a school system or healthcare services close by important to you? Go online and check out the neighborhood and close by conveniences like grocery stores, veterinarian clinics, and restaurants. Research is helpful with a lot of questions, but don’t be afraid to revisit the homes during different times of the day and explore the various access roads to get you there.
Don’t – Get Emotional
It’s easy to fall in love with the first home you see. Before you decide that is “The One”, tour at least three other homes before you make a final decision. Don’t just consider what your current needs are but think about the future. Are you going to start a family? Are you going to have to care for your parents? Make sure that the home is something that you can grow into over the years instead of making a decision because the wall color speaks to you or the sellers are including a hot tub.
Do – Enjoy The Ride
It’s such a tremendous feeling to know that you will soon own real estate. Even though there is a lot to consider and take in, this is an exciting milestone in your life. Buying your first house can be stressful,
and you will surely travel on a roller coaster of feelings throughout your experience, but ultimately you will come out with a long-term investment and a home you can call your own!
Don’t – Forget
Being a homeowner is a big responsibility. You are now responsible for property taxes, in some cases road maintenance, and of course all repairs to your home. There is no calling a landlord when your hot water heater leaks or your septic tank backs up. It is wise to not pour all of your savings into your down payment so that you have a rainy-day fund when your dishwasher stops working or your chimney needs to be swept.
Do – Select The Best
Choose Nathan Fitts & Team to help you select and secure your first home. As the number one team in Georgia, we love first time home buyers and have the experience you need and deserve to walk you through this exciting and sometimes overwhelming process. With a team of agents and the best brokers around, you can rest assured that we will go above and beyond to make your first home buying experience the best!
Don’t – Settle For Less Seriously, don’t settle for anything less than the best! Let Nathan Fitts & team show you our commitment to first class customer service. We are on your side and have your best interests at heart during this sometimes-challenging process. We commit to communicating with you, being responsive to you, and educating you on your first home purchase. We are happy to provide you with a list of references upon request.