You’ve committed years of hard work and saving toward your goal. And soon, it will pay off! That’s right—you’ll officially be a homeowner. As you approach this next step, make the process flow smoothly with our tips for prepping for your first home purchase.
Make a List of What You Want
Do you prefer single-story properties? A spot with a large yard? Extra closet space? Making a list of what you want can help you and your Realtor immensely. You can even organize it into sections like “nonnegotiable,” “optional,” or even “dealbreakers,” for maximum clarity.
Aim for a Larger Down Payment
When it comes to down payments, bigger is better. Not only can a larger payment convince sellers to choose your offer, but you can also typically generate a lower mortgage that way. That means less interest too! Of course, you should still stay within the constraints of your budget.
Obtain a Preapproval Letter
First time home buyers may find themselves going up against seasoned opponents. One way to show your intent—and your capability to buy—involves obtaining a preapproval letter from your mortgage broker. Essentially, it proves that you have a loan offer—and therefore, you can make a genuine purchase.
Weigh Your Options: Fixed-Rate vs. Adjustable Mortgages
The market is many things—but it’s not always predictable. That means we all have to do a certain amount of guesswork when choosing our mortgages. Fixed-rate options can save you if prices grow. Adjustable mortgages have less certainty, as the rates change. However, if prices drop dramatically, they also give you the option to refinance. If you need help deciding, your Realtor can explain it all!
Don’t Forget About Taxes and Insurance
A rule of thumb: your mortgage, taxes, and home insurance should not exceed 25 to 30 percent of your income. You should include all three variables in your calculations! Otherwise, you could be in for some sticker shock during tax season.
Remember to Factor Utilities Into Your Calculations
Next up on our list of tips for prepping for your first home purchase: doing the math. You’ve probably calculated and recalculated your budget and mortgage. However, do you know how much utilities will cost for your potential property? Water, heating, internet, cable, sewage, and electric—you want to make sure that you have an estimate of what they’ll run per month. And since you’re moving, you may need to change providers too, so keep an eye out for better deals.
Request Realtor Referrals or References
You should be able to trust your Realtor! We believe that strongly. We also believe in giving our clients the best possible experience! That’s why we recommend getting referrals or references for your Realtor. Ultimately, it will ensure that you have peace of mind going into the process.
Get a Home Inspection
Some homes look picture perfect—but they’ve hidden a few big flaws. When you get a home inspection, you can ensure that you know what your house holds. Plus, it can actually turn the tide in your favor during negotiations. Your agent can use the results to request that the original owners make the repairs—or knock the cost off your offer.
Determine Your Stance on HOAs
Some folks like the sense of uniformity a Homeowner’s Association offers—along with the perks, like extra amenities. Others don’t want the oversight or the extra costs. Decide if you want to live in a neighborhood with an HOA—and then let your Realtor know.
Contact Prestige Properties
Wading through market may seem daunting, but you’re not alone. The Realtors at Prestige Properties can show you how to navigate the market—and pick out your home sweet home, too.
Searching for your new house? From advice, to showings, to tips for prepping for your first home purchase, Prestige Properties will help you every step of the way. If you’re ready to get started, contact us. You can also read our blog for more helpful hints and advice!