When thinking about buying a home, many virgin home buyers begin the process by making the rounds of various forums, chat rooms, and websites where they may find disgruntled home buyers relating terrible experiences they have had when buying a home. Common topics for these sites include lengthy delays in closing, difficulties in negotiating with a seller, or even canceled transactions and lost earnest money deposits.When all the details become known, however, it often becomes clear that many of the problems could have been lessened or even avoided if these buyers had chosen to make the following three preparations before beginning to look at homes for sale.
Preparation 1: Be financially prepared to become a homeowner before beginning the home search
It's a fact that buying a home usually comes with some pretty hefty upfront costs. These costs often include:
- a down payment, of at least 3.5 percent (for some FHA home loans) to 10 or 20 percent (for many conventional home loans) of the purchase price of the home
- closing costs
- moving expenses, if applicable
- deposits and fees to connect to electrical, gas, water, sewer, trash, cable, and internet services
- homeowners insurance coverage
- cost of any cleaning, repairs, or changes the home may need before moving in
- furnishings and appliances
In addition to saving for these costs, first-time home buyers should also pay off as much debt as possible, such as student loans, credit cards, and car notes, before moving ahead with the decision to purchase a home. Doing this will lessen any financial strain and help increase their enjoyment of becoming a homeowner.
Preparation 2: Get the mortgage before beginning to search for a home to purchase
Another part of being financially ready to become a homeowner is to apply for and becoming approved for an affordable home mortgage before beginning to look at homes. During the application process, the lender will assist you in determining your current debt-to-income ratio to help you more closely determine how much home you can comfortably afford to purchase so that you can tailor your search more effectively and enjoy a better experience.
Preparation 2: Learn from an experienced real estate professional
Many of the problems discussed in real estate forums could have been avoided simply by seeking the advice and guidance of an experienced real estate professional. Seasoned agents understand how to negotiate with difficult sellers to keep transactions moving and avoid delays and they work diligently to uphold and protect the interests of their clients. In addition, working with a local agent helps to ensure the buyer will enjoy a better, more targeted home search process that will help them more easily find the perfect home for sale for their needs and wants.