Buying your first home can be an intimidating process. But through all the forms and phone calls and steps in the process, it might be helpful to remember that first time buyers account for two-fifths of all home purchases. So don’t for one second think that the sellers hold all the cards — without buyers, there would be no sellers. And with a little bit of research and planning, you can make it much easier to buy a new home than you ever thought possible.
- Know Your Budget
Most people know what they’d like to spend on a house, but until you know what you can spend, you’re inviting setbacks and disappointment. Buyers who get pre-approved for first time home buyer loans know exactly what they can spend on a house — there are no surprises. And a lender’s letter showing that the funds can be secured is a welcome sign to sellers.
- Know Your Priorities
Figure out what’s really important to you in a new home — location, school district, square footage, accessibility, etc. — and be prepared to sacrifice a massive walk-in closet or fully-finished basement if those initial prerequisites are not met. The more definite information you can give to real estate agencies about what it is you really want in a home, the less time you’ll waste looking at real estate listings that don’t fit the bill.
- Know How You Compare
To be a competitive buyer, you have to know how you compare to other buyers in the market. According to real estate market research conducted by the National Association of Realtors, the average home buyer is 31 years old, makes almost $62,000 annually, and makes a 4% down payment on their home. Your down payment amount can affect your ultimate pre-approval amount, which can in turn affect the houses in your budget. So if you’re able to nudge your down payment a little higher, you could reap big rewards in the future.
Don’t be scared of the home buying process, whether during pre-approval for first time home buyer loans or during the complicated paperwork when it’s time to close. Remember, a seller wants to sell their house just as much as you want to buy it. Do your homework, trust your agent, and stay the course — that dream home is closer to reality than you might think. Continue reading here.