Here are some tips for a first time home buyer, these are useful for those that feel their last purchase didn’t go the way they wanted to. Buying a home is your single, largest purchase you are going to make in your life, some of us find that forever home while others start small and every 5 to 7 years as things change, so do their housing needs.
A mortgage broker will work with you to find you the best mortgage rates through various lenders. They ensure that you fully understand what your budget will look like and what you can afford. Many first time buyers go through their banks and sometimes do not get the best rates, or sometimes are over zealous and purchase higher than they can afford and become what is known as “house poor”. By getting a Pre-Approved mortgage it will give you and your real estate agent a workable price range when looking at houses.
2. Interview Real Estate Agents and Brokers
Most times we are encouraged to use a agent referred to by friends and families based on their experiences. Buying your home is your choice, you are in control of your purchase. It doesn’t hurt to interview agents, if they can’t take the time to talk with you to answer a few questions, so you really want them bargaining for you? If you have different companies in your area interview one from each office. Asking some of the following questions will help you;
How long have you been in business for?
A freshly-licensed REALTOR® can do a wonderful job and will have up-to-date training; those in the business longer bring more practical experience to the table.
Will you provide references?
Ask if any of the references are related to the REALTOR®. Ask if you can call their references with additional questions.
May I review documents that I will be asked to sign?
A good REALTOR® makes forms available to you before you are required to sign them. Ask to see agency disclosure, listing agreement, seller disclosure.
How many houses will we look at?
Your REALTOR® should take the time with your best interest in mind, to compile a list of homes for you to look at with them. Normally you should look at several homes, some you will want to look at twice.
What if I am unhappy with the service?
If you sign a listing agreement with the REALTOR® and later find that you are unhappy with the arrangement, will the REALTOR® let you cancel the agreement?
What haven’t I asked you that I need to know?
Pay close attention to how the REALTOR® answers this question, because there is always something you need to know – always.
3. Budget for extra expenses
There are many expenses that are incurred during the purchasing process. Your mortgage broker should help you with planning for them. you should plan up to 4% of the purchase cost for these expenses, many of these expenses can include lawyer fees, land transfer tax, property taxes, moving cost, utility hook ups, and inspections (home, well and septic inspections).
4. Book a home inspection
Protecting your investment should be number 1 priority, you do this buy getting a Certified Home Inspector. Going cheap is not the best either, you should be expected to pay around what you would pay for a semi or monthly mortgage payment. Ask your agent for a list of inspectors and take the time to call around, ask questions. Find one that make you feel confident. Your inspector will give a thorough, overview of your home and will take anywhere from 2-3 hours. Your home inspector will make recommendations on their findings, which will allow you to plan for repairs or adjust your mortgage.
Buying your home should be a learning process in which you control, you should never feel pressured, or unsatisfied with what you have been giving, this is the home that you are going to live in with your family. You should never feel any regret in what you have bought and understand all your options that are available to you.