5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers
Jaime Chaifetz February 06, 2020
Buying a home for the first time can be a thrilling yet daunting process. The following tips can help make the process smoother for everyone involved!
1. Hire the right agent
Lots of important decisions will be on the line with a real estate agent, so make sure that you find someone you trust and get along with. You should get the feeling if you mesh well with the agent during the first couple of meetings. The right real estate agent should be respectful, be highly motivated, and very knowledgeable about the area.
Although it’s tempting to look out of your price range at that dream house with a wraparound porch and pool, it’s important to stay within budget to account for the unexpected problems that may arise during the beginning stages of homeownership. It’s best to look at properties that cost less than the amount you were approved for. Although you can afford your pre-approval amount, it doesn’t take other ongoing expenses into consideration, such as maintenance and utility expenses.
Remember, you aren’t just buying a home, you are entering a community of other homeowners who have unique values that may or may not align with yours. Make sure to look for the things that are important to you. This may include parks and playgrounds, school districts, grocery stores, and hospitals. Drive through the neighborhood on different days and at different times to see what it’s really like to live there.
4. Maintenance Team
You will need someone to fix something at some time(hopefully not immediately) but it will happen eventually. Now is the time to gather information on reputable repair people: HVAC, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, pest control company, etc. Take time to meet your new neighbors and see who they are happy with—you’ll make friends in the process and build your support list at the same time.
5. Buy Adequate Homeowners Insurance
Before closing on your new home, the lender will require you to purchase homeowners insurance. Make sure to shop around for the best insurance rate. Having the proper coverage in place for your home is so essential, it can’t be understated. A home is probably the single largest financial investment you will make in your lifetime—don’t risk it with improper/inadequate insurance coverage. Not all policies are the same—just as with your automobile policy, there are many options and variables to consider.
When you buy your home and set up the mortgage, unless you are buying in cash, the lender will not issue a mortgage without a policy in place. They need to be sure that in the event of a major problem their investment in your home is protected. You need to be sure that your policy protects you as well. The last thing you need are gaps in coverage should a catastrophe happen. Understanding the potential threats to your home is part of getting proper coverage.
Is your home in a floodplain? Do major weather-related events happen there often—hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires? You might have a difficult time answering some of these questions and that’s why one of the most important members of your new home buying team is your insurance agent. They know your home’s area and understand any possible dangers.