Profile picture for GAHomesTEAM

What are 5 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a first home can be a scary, confusing and stressful process. Many would-be buyers are understandably nervous at the prospect of making the largest purchase of their lives....what 5 things should they look for?
  • April 19 2013 - Suwanee
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (6)

Best Answer

1. Look into government programs that may help you with your purchase. 
There are so many programs out there for first time home buyers. This link to HUD, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is an excellent resource of information for first time home buyers and can link you to more resources in your particular state.

http://www.hud.gov/buying/comq.cfm 

2. There ar programs for down payments and also for Mortgages
This is the link to information about FHA Mortgages and Mortgage Insurance for first time home buyers.

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/ins/sfh203b 


3. Ask yourself what you are looking for in a home. Make a checklist and after you view a home write the pro's and con's of the home. Get help deciding on the features that mean the most to you with this list. Print copies out and take them with you when you are touring homes or we have made it easy to share them with your family and friends. You will forget after viewing several homes in one day.

4. Speak with a Mortgage Broker and have them give you a pre approval letter to have on hand when making an offer. Only let one person run your credit (if everyone runs your credit this will bring your credit down).

5. Stay with one Realtor you are comfortable with to avoid seeing the same houses over and over. If you keep switching Realtors you will wa r. Realtors do not get paid unless they sell a home. Why would a Realtor work hard for nothing? They will work harder for you when they know you are loyal to them. 

Christina Hillman 
Douglas Elliman LLC [deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]






  • April 19 2013
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

  1. 1. Count the costs.

Figure how much home you can afford with calculators like Zillow's Mortgage Calculator. Remember that the price tag on the home isn't the only thing to consider. Expenses like property taxes, utilities, homeowner's association fees, etc. add up quickly. Considering these extra costs will put home ownership into a more realistic perspective.

  1. 2. Save up your down payment.

Bank on saving at least 20% of the cost of your mortgage as your down payment. Although the FHA allows for lower, 20% is the better minimum for several reasons. But don't have your down payment tied up in risky investments or a downturn could mean your saving was in vain.

  1. 3. Get a copy of your credit report and try for mortgage pre-approval.

Use a site like annualcreditreport.com to obtain a free copy of your credit report from each major bureau. Go over your report, correct any errors, and take care of any bad accounts. It may be beneficial to ask a reputable credit counselor for help. Once you've taken care of any credit issues, find a mortgage broker who can help get you pre-approved for a mortgage loan. This is an excellent way to see firsthand what your price range is for a home. It's also a good time to find out exactly what down payment is needed and to find out about closing costs.

  1. 4. Have your potential new home inspected by an honest professional.

Your dream home could become your worst nightmare if you find out you need to replace the roof or it has a weak foundation. Many times simply adjusting the price can cover the costs of repairs if needed. Better to be safe than sorry in this case, so don't skip this step.

  1. 5. Purchase homeowner's insurance.

Some policies cover just the structure, while others cover your things inside the home as well. It is very important to know the difference and choose the policy that will best serve you.

  • April 20 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

1.Hire an exclusive buyers office. You can Google them with keywords like "Exclusive Buyer's Office in your area", or "Exclusive Buyer Agent in your area".  A true, Exclusive Buyer Office is a company that only represents home buyers, they do not list any properties in their real estate company and represents buyers 100% of the time.
2.DO NOT ATTEND OPEN HOUSES or Call LISTING AGENT SIGNS, until you hire your exclusive buyer's agent! Here is why, there is a problem in our industry called procuring cause. Basically procuring cause allows an agent to do is claim you as a customer another words, "calling dibs on you"and  keep the buyer'sagent fee along with their listing agent fee.
3.Get Pre-approved! Interview 3 lenders! Direct Lenders and Mortgage Brokers. Your Exclusive Buyer Agent will be able to help you there.
4.Shop your  loan! "Shop for the best loan!" Compare the same loan. Be upfront with the 3 lenders letting them know that you will be going with the lender that can give you the best financing.
5.Get a GFE! Have them prepare you a Good Fair Estimate "GFE" all on the same day, let them know that the lender you select to move forward with you will be locking the rate in that day.
"Only representing buyers in RI & Southern MA 100% of the Time!"
  • April 20 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

1. See what you can afford. You can use a mortgage calculator to get an idea what the payment might be or speak with a lender.  Make sure that you include taxes, insurance and association fees!
2. Find out how much you may have to pay in closing fee.  There are costs that are associated with purchasing a home.
3. Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area and attend open houses.
4. Determine how a house fits into your budget. Its recommended that buyers spend no moer than 28% of their income on housing costs.  Going much past 30% and you may risk becoming house poor
5. Most importantly speak with a knowledgeable professional real-estate agent in your area who know the market and your area of interest very well  
  • April 19 2013
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

1)  Go to Open Houses.....pay attention to styles of homes, neighborhoods and features of the homes.  After a while, you will begin to get a better appreciation of value.
2)  Find a REALTOR who will commit the time to work with you and help you understand what you need to know to make a decision about a home.  You want an adviser.  Home buying is complicated.
3)  Get your loan pre-approved.  You need to know how much you can afford to purchase a home.
4)  Identify the neighborhood(s) where you would like to live and have homes in your price range.
5)  Be patient!  It can take a long time to do all of your preparation AND THEN find the right home.  Home buying is a major commitment.  Do your best to keep your emotions out of your decision making process.

Good luck!
  • April 19 2013
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for SoCal Engr
#1 - Have a personal/financial plan, and know where home ownership fits into those plans (or, doesn't). Home ownership does not integrate well with all phases of life, especially if one either (a) needs a low maintenance lifestyle, or (b) needs to be highly mobile.

#2 - Know what you benefits you are expecting to obtain from home ownership. What are your goals? Buying for long-term permanence? Buying to start a rental portfolio for passive income? Buying and hoping to flip?

I am also a huge proponent of consumer self-education. So, learn about the mechanics of real estate, as well as mortgages. It's not necessary to become "the expert", but it is necessary to be able to make informed decisions.
  • April 19 2013
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.