First-Time Home Buyers
Buying your first home will be a time filled with mixed emotions; you will be excited to be taking such a big step in your life and anxious to committing yourself to such a large financial responsibility.
One of the first steps you should take when deciding to buy your first home is contact a local Realtor that you have heard good things about from family or friends. You should get a good feel from the Realtor and be feel confident that they will work well with you during the home buying process. Ask the Realtor if they have any Mortgage Specialists that they deal with, they should be able to provide with a few names of Mortgage Specialists to choose from. Contact each Mortgage Specialist and let them know that you are going to be a First-Time Buyer and see if they have any promotions going on that they can offer you. Decide on one Mortgage Specialist that you like from the discussions and get pre-approved for financing. A Mortgage Specialist will not only pre-approve you for a Mortgage amount but they will also commit to an interest rate that you will be able to use for up to 90-120 days.
Once you have been pre-approved by the Mortgage Specialist, let your Realtor know how much financing you qualify for and they will be able to begin searching for homes in the areas you are interested in. There are some key factors to keep in mind when deciding on how much money you want to spend and where the home is located:
- Property Taxes: Make sure to ask your Realtor how much the annual property taxes are on the homes you are looking at. This can add a significant amount of money to your monthly budget that you wouldn’t normally think of. It can add anywhere from $150-$300 more a month depending on the home you are buying and the Township it is located in.
- Utility Costs: If you find a home that you are interested in ask for a copy of the utility bills to help you estimate what your monthly costs would be.
- Is the Home on a Well/Septic or Municipal Water/Sewers: Your water usage is different depending on if you have a well and/or septic in comparison to Municipal Water/Sewers. Many First-Time Home Buyers do not realize that water usage is not the same on a well and that Septic use and maintenance also is different.
- Buying a New Home: If you are buying a Newly Constructed Home directly from the Builder (no previous owners) make sure you speak with a Realtor and Lawyer about the other expenses that can be associated with purchasing a New Home that are not always included in the purchase price. Some builders incorporate the fees into the purchase price, BUT there are many builders that do not and this can be quite a shock upon closing.
- Realize there are Other Expenses: Keep in mind you will have to pay lawyer’s fees upon closing, a Home Inspection Fee and moving expenses.
Always remember when looking at homes to be open to seeing properties that you may not have thought you would like. It is a good idea to actually walk through a few homes before deciding what style or age of house you want. Make sure if you do not like something about a particular home that you voice your concerns and let your Realtor know that the home is not for you. You should never feel pressured into purchasing a home because your Realtor thinks it is the home for you or they are pushing it on you because it is such a great deal.
If you are thinking about Buying your First Home and would like some more detailed information about the process and how a Realtor from HomeLife Emerald Realty Ltd. Brokerage can help you please give us a call at 705-424-0770.
Broker of Record/Owner