First Time Buyers
There are very few accomplishments that are quite as exciting as buying your first home. Acquiring your personal piece of the American Dream is something to be celebrated and recognized, however, it does come with its own particular set of challenges and frustrations. To simplify the process, eliminating stressful headaches and frustrating setbacks, we recommend that you take the following steps as a first-time home buyer:
- Get pre-qualified – Before you start searching for that perfect house, make sure you can afford it first. Meet with a mortgage broker as your first step to find out how much you’re eligible for in order to avoid the heartbreak that comes from finding out you can’t afford your dream home.
- Get pre-approved – Don’t get confused. Loan qualification is not approval. Pre-approval means that a lender has already agreed to loan you the funds for your new home. Sellers love potential buyers that have pre-approved at the level that they are selling their home at. There are costs involved for getting pre-approval from a lender, but those costs can usually be paid at the closing of the property.
- Know what you need and what you want – Many real estate agents recommend making two lists when it comes to buying your home. The first list should cover those things you’ve just gotta have, i.e. three bedrooms, one-story, large backyard, finished basement, good neighborhood. The second list is more of a wish list of those you would love to have but aren’t deal breakers if your must-haves are met; items such as a large kitchen, a pool, a side office or three-car garage. No home is perfect so make sure you know just what you cannot live without.
- Obtain professional representation – Yes, many home buyers go about the process of buying a home on their own, however, it is an arduous process that is made much more simple with the aid of a licensed, local real estate agent. Having one work for you, and not the seller, will help you avoid missteps and errors that many first-time buyers don’t even know they’re making. Hire someone reputable.
- Focus your search – Keep with you: a detailed map of the areas you prefer to live in; a file of the properties you’ve seen; a pen and paper for taking notes; a camera to remind you the highlights of properties you’ve visited.
- Really check out the property – Your lifestyle and home experience can be immensely affected by outlying factors that you have little to no control over. Make sure to consider noise levels, traffic volume, access to shopping, parks and freeways, crime rates, school quality, and adjacent neighbor’s properties.
- Be objective and thorough – We know it’s hard but try not to fall in love with every property you visit. Most areas around San Antonio have plenty of homes to choose from; take your time. Furthermore, when you put in an offer on a property, protect your investment by obtaining a thorough inspection, include contingencies in your written offer and request a second walk-through to ensure that all repairs have been completed and that all inclusions still exist on the property. For example, the kitchen chandelier that you fell in love with hasn’t been replaced by a cheap fixture.
Make sure that your process goes as smoothly as possible by recruiting the help of a professional, experienced real estate agent. Our Redberry Realty Team is eager to help you find and obtain your first home. Call now.