Buying your first home may seem like a lofty or overwhelming dream, but with a little preparation, your dream home can be yours! Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for buying your first home.
- Start saving NOW.
Buying a home requires a fair amount of savings. Upfront costs will include things like the home inspection, closing costs, and however much of a down payment you want to make. In addition, you'll want some money set aside to take care of any move-in expenses, such as repairs or upgrades that need to be made immediately. Saving up this amount of money can take some time, so start saving now, even if you're not planning on buying a home right away. The more you save, the better your buying power will be.
- Do your research.
In the meantime, while you're dutifully saving all of your extra money for your house fund, you can start doing some basic groundwork. Research homes in the areas you're interested in, finding out more about neighborhoods and market values so that you know where you want to start looking when the time comes. You may also want to look into mortgage options and calculate your payments so that you also know how much house you can afford in your preferred neighborhoods.
- Get help.
Saving up for a down payment as a first-time homebuyer is difficult, as you won't have equity in an existing property to put toward your next home. Fortunately, there are a lot of programs to help first-time homebuyers come up with their down payments. Grants and even some forgivable loans may not need to be repaid if you stay in your home for the minimum required amount of time.
- Get preapproved.
When it comes time to start the search for your dream home, the first thing you should do is to get preapproved. A letter of preapproval from a lender does a few things. First and foremost, it gives you a budget and lets you know exactly how much house you are shopping for. This can help fine-tune your search and prevents you from wasting time looking at houses you wouldn't have been able to afford. Just as importantly, it'll tell everyone, from your real estate agent to home sellers, that you're serious about buying a home and that you've got the financial backing to do so. With as fast as South Bend homes for sale are going under contract right now, this is especially important, as it makes your offer look more appealing and can help you to move faster if you see a home you like.
- Find a good agent.
Last but definitely not least: It's especially important for a first-time homebuyer to get a good agent, someone who can help them learn the ropes and navigate the home buying process from beginning to end. Look for someone who knows your desired areas well and can help you to find the home of your dreams for a price you can afford.
Buying your first home is a big undertaking, so it's especially important to have an agent you trust to help guide you through the process. If you're ready to start the search for your first home, contact us today, and we'll help make your dream a reality.