Buying a home for the first time is not hard or complicated. What matter is finding the right agent to help guide you through the process. Let’s chat and meet to discuss how I can help you buy that first home faster and without the drama. Check out the buyer’s guide I’ve put together for buying your first home.
My First Time Home Buyers Guide
Step 1 Take a Hard Look at Your Finances and Establish a Budget:
Determine your current expenses and income. In addition to obvious items like rent, utilities, loan payments don’t forget to include the miscellaneous like haircuts, eating out, dry-cleaning, fuel for vehicles and any other expenses you usually incur during the course of a month. Also add in the possible new expenses of owning a home such as lawn maintenance, cost of water for watering trees, shrubs and lawn, Homeowner Association dues and increased utility costs. I can recommend a lender who works with first time buyers who can help you with this.
Step 2 Ask for help finding a lender or ask me for a recommendation
No one should “google” a lender for buying their first home. Ask family or friends for a recommendation. I can also help you out with a recommendation. The next step is to meet with your lender to “Run the numbers.” The lender will help determine what your comfort level is on how much payment for a mortgage each month. The lender should be able to make recommendations about which loans are best for your buying situation too. Once a loan and monthly payment is determined, the lender will also figure out down payment and closing costs too. When your finished you should have a pre-approval to share and give me to buy your home. In a seller’s market we need a pre-approval to be successful with an offer
A pre-approval will place you in a stronger negotiating position when you place an offer on a property. You are letting the sellers know that you are serious and that you can afford that dream house. In addition, by having secured financing, the time period from offer to closing can be shortened.
Step 3 When Do I Need Money?
Your earnest money check will accompany your Purchase Offer Contract (normally 1% of the offering price). At the time of loan application, your lender will usually require some funds to be collected for the appraisal and credit report (approximately $400). In the case of new construction, the builder will require anywhere from 50% to 100% of the upgrade costs to be paid at the time the upgrade is selected.
When the mechanical/structural inspection (home inspection) is completed, the inspector will require payment (approximately $350). All other monies (including down payment, termite inspection, proration of taxes and others) will be collected at closing.
Step 4 Setting Up the Search for Home
Determine a geographical area that suits your needs for commute time, proximity to shopping, schools and recreation. Decide whether a townhouse, condo or a single-family home fits your lifestyle. Determine amenities you would like to have in your new home – number of bedrooms, number of baths, garage, fireplace, garden tub, square footage, size of lot, fenced yard, one story or multi-story.
Step 5 Making an Offer, and Completing the Purchase
Once we find the right home, we will make an offer quickly. We will make our best offer to win the home. Once we are in contract, I will work closely with your lender to make sure the home can be financed. I will work closely with you to get seller disclosures and reports, schedule and perform inspections on your behalf, and negotiate any issues that occur during the escrow. If everything is acceptable to you, and there is no issue with the financing we will typically close within 30 days of the offer being accepted.
Step 6 Close of Escrow and Moving
Approximately after 21 days in contract we should be getting loan documents and going to the escrow company to sign documents in the next week or so. I will accompany you to the signing to make sure everything is correct to the purchase contract, and to help answer any last-minute concerns. You most likely will be moving after the home is recorded into your name. I will contact the listing agent and make sure the owner transfers important information about the home (utilities, ongoing maintenance, service contracts, etc.). I will also deliver the keys to your new home as well after the deed is transferred to you and the contract says you can take possession. Congratulations you’ve bought your first home!