How to Buy Your First Home

By Ebony Porter, June 29, 2018, Moving

Are you ready to take those first steps to buying a first home? It’s exciting to say the least!

Since this will be the most expensive item you’ve ever purchased, you need to carefully consider navigating finances and your family’s needs.

Read this simple home buying guide and use our tips for first time buyers to help you to scope out how to buy your first home and land in the best place possible.

How to Buy Your First Home | Bounce Energy Blog

1. Review Your Financial Health

Resist the temptation to start looking at online home listings until you’ve sat down and taken a look at what’s in your bank account, your savings in particular, and how healthy your credit rate is.

You need to have enough emergency savings to sustain your bills for 3-6 months should anything happen, so keep this in mind when looking at the numbers.

These days it’s expected that you will put down 20% of your home’s value before taking out a loan with the bank. Once your monthly expenses are accounted for in contrast to what you’re bringing in each month, be sure you have at minimum the amount needed to cover a mortgage, on average 1.5% of what your home costs.

2. Look for First Time Buyer Bonuses

There is often assistance for first time home buyers in the marketplace. A simple search online should yield current results as to what is being offered.

You can also talk to your local banker to see if there are financing options for first time home buyers.

3. Find Your Lender

The best place to start with finding a lender is by talking to the bank you do business with. There are many realtors who won’t spend time with clients that haven’t seen a clear picture as to what they can spend.

Oftentimes too, sellers won’t consider an offer if it’s not accompanied with a mortgage pre-approval. Start with the folks you know, and see where the conversation takes you.

4. Shop Around for a Mortgage

When taking the big step to buying your first home, you want to obtain the lowest percentage rate possible for the long-term investment. Therefore, don’t take the first lending option that’s given to you.

Shop around and talk to other banks to compare what they can offer you versus your bank. It’s better to see a full spectrum of the financing that is available to you rather than to take the first option offered.

How to Buy Your First Home | Bounce Energy Blog

5. Find Real Estate Agent

The best way to find a real estate agent is to talk to your network of friends or family. This way, you get a direct insight into how they work, and where their strengths are.

When it comes to buying your first home, you want someone to help you charter those waters with ease. Set up a meeting with someone that’s recommended to you and if you don’t click, keep shopping around. There are plenty of agents that are ready to meet you where you’re at and to connect with you on a more personal level.

6. Choose A Neighborhood

This could be one of the most exciting aspects of shopping for your first home! If you have children, you’ll want to look for desired schools zoned to that particular neighborhood.

If walking on trails or to a local cafe is important to you, then seek out these amenities. Keep in mind that the further away you go from the city proper, the less you’ll pay.

But you’ll also want to consider how far you’ll need to commute to work and whether there is a possibility in that neighborhood to use public transit to get to work.

Another consideration is energy efficiency. Homes with energy efficient appliances, windows or other features may be more expensive upfront, but may save you money in the long run.

7. Consider Your Home Improvement Budget

Once you’ve found a property you’re in love with, crunch your numbers again. When it comes to creating our home improvement budgets, we often overlook updates, small items that might need to be fixed, yard transformations and general upkeep. Include these fixes in your budget and see where you’re at.

8. Schedule a Home Inspection

The final step in buying your own home before singing the papers and arranging for the movers is to order a home inspection. This is crucial to know exactly what major repairs you’ll be facing, and see if there is any leverage in the price.

If there are major foundation issues, for example, then it’s possible you’ll be able to negotiate a lower cost with the seller to offset the cost of repairs. Your home inspection will also tell you whether there are invasive insects to be concerned about, whether tree roots are imposing on your foundation and other major safety and structural concerns for the house.

While buying your first home seems daunting, being prepared will make the process smoother and easier. Find the right agent, get your financial ducks in a row and within no time, you’ll be sitting in your living room enjoying a cup of coffee in your own home!

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