4 Tips For First Time Home Buyers

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Buying a home is a dream for many Americans, but while being a first time home buyer can be very exciting it can also be stressful. Understanding the home buying process and preparing in advance can make everything go smoother. IF you are planning to buy your first home in the near future, use the following tips:

Know Exactly What You Can Afford

You may have an idea of how much you can afford to spend on a mortgage payment each month, but before you even begin looking at homes you should get pre-approved for a mortgage. Once you are pre-approved you will know exactly how much a mortgage lender is willing to lend you. This will prevent you from wasting your time looking at homes that are out of your price range, or falling in love with a house that you can't afford.

Establish Your Wants and Needs

In most cases, first time buyers have a budget and typically are not able to buy their dream home that they will live in for the rest of their lives. To stay on track and find a home in the area you want to live in, it is a very good idea to make a list outlining what you must have in a home vs. what would be nice to have. For example, you may need a certain amount of bedrooms to accommodate the size of your family, or have to be in a certain school district so your children don't have to switch schools , but a fireplace, swimming pool, or wood floors may be things that you want but are not necessities.

Take Your Time Hiring a Real Estate Agent

As a first time home buyer, working with a good real estate agent—like those at The Gresham Group and other locations—is essential for a smooth home buying transaction. Don't be afraid to meet with several different agents until you find one who you are very comfortable with. If possible, look for a real estate agent who specializes in acting as a buyer's agent. Your real estate agent should be willing to answer any questions you may have and be available for showings. After you put in an offer, your agent will be instrumental in helping you through the escrow process.

Prepare Yourself for Potential Problems

Purchasing a home is not always an easy process. You may put in an offer on a house that you love only to be outbid by another buyer, or you may find out that a home you are under contract for has numerous problems after a home inspection is completed. It is also possible for closing dates to get extended, or for there to be issues with paperwork and documents during escrow. If you understand that these things happen, it will be much easier to deal with them and stay calm. All of the stress of buying a house will be worth it when you get the keys to your first home.