As a first time homebuyer, I had a lot of questions.The first question I asked myself was; “What part of town do I want to live in?” Then, a more practical question arose, “What part of town can I afford to live in, that meets the majority of my needs and wants?”
Like many first time homebuyers, I was young…and extremely clueless in the process, even with a brief career (if you will) in real estate.I was quickly educated by the real estate agent that I chose to sign a Buyer’s Agency Agreement with, that I needed to visit with a lender.(Buyer’s Agency – a relationship agreement, including fidelity, honesty, dedication in working for and acting in the buyer’s best interest.) Don’t worry!The REALTOR® that you choose to work with has several connections from mortgage lenders to landscapers.They will assist you through the pre-approval process. After seeking counsel from a mortgage lender you will be able to determine your price range.First thing first!(It’s not any fun being responsible is it?!)Once you know what you can spend and what a comfortable monthly payment is, you can then have a constructive conversation with your REALTOR® about your needs and wants.
Then the crazy fun begins!You now get to look at all the amazing properties that could potentially be your first home!One of the most enjoyable things for me as a homeowner was creating a space that was my own.
Once you decide which home is the best fit for you, your agent will provide you with comparable market information.You will then be able to see what other homes in that area have recently sold for and what other homes in the area are currently listed for.This information is extremely helpful for you when deciding how much to offer for the home.When you decide to make an offer you’ll be in contract negotiation.Your REALTOR® will present the offer to the listing agent.The listing agent will then present your offer to the homeowner.This process will go back and forth until an agreed sales price is reached.This can be a nerve racking period for you.Remember that your REALTOR® is working for you (Buyer’s Agency Agreement) and you are not alone in the process.Even if the first offer you present isn’t accepted you can make another offer on the counter offer that you receive.
Be sure to ask your REALTOR® about the benefits of a home warranty.I requested a home warranty on the duplex that I purchased and the sellers where happy to comply.I used the policy twice within my first year of living in the home.I received superb service from local vendors, and the home warranty paid to replace my dishwasher.This was a welcome benefit as I was a single mother at the time.
When you are “under contract” you will have the opportunity to have a home inspection preformed on the property. A home inspection is always a good idea and I assure you the cost is worth the peace of mind.There are time limits in place as to when you can have the inspection performed, with which your REALTOR® will assist you.After the inspection is complete you’ll then have the opportunity to make repair requests.Again, time is of the essence.You will have a set amount of days to request repairs.The homeowner will then respond to your request.Just like you have time limits the homeowner does as well.Once all parties agree on repairs you can then more forward completing the agreed upon items.You may be required to have a termite inspection on the home as well.This is a lender requirement, and is typically an expense the buyer is responsible for.If termites are present, the property will need to be treated by a licensed exterminator.The homeowner is typically financially responsible for treatment of the home, unless the contract has been negotiated differently.
A typical sales contract is written with the closing scheduled in 45 -60 days.This is generally enough time for the lender to complete all requirements on their end and to be ready for closing.This period of time will also allow for contractors and vendors to complete their work on the property, if applicable to your sales contract.You can use this time to schedule utilities to transfer into your name a day or two before closing.You’ll also want to shop for homeowner’s insurance.Your lender will remind you to purchase a policy if you get busy picking paint colors and buying pillows…well my lender had to remind me anyway.During this time try to relax.Take the process one day at a time and soak it all in.Know that there may be a few hiccups along the way, and that is normal.Being a “First Time Homebuyer” only happens once in a lifetime…okay maybe a bit too dramatic, but seriously.This is living!The American dream.Home ownership…tax breaks…and an investment in your future!
Although, the home buying process can be stressful, I assure you that the first time you slip your key into the front door lock of your home…yes your home!!, you will feel an amazing sense of pride and accomplishment.It’s a huge step into adulthood and making your own way.People will probably take you a little more seriously, and since you’re all grown up now, that’s a good thing!
I wish you the very best of luck in all your life adventures.Remember this is one adventure of many!