09 Aug 12 Tips for First Time Home Buyers
When you look to buy a home in Maryland for the first time can be intimidating. It should be fun and exciting, but it is easy to get caught up in the stress that comes along with such a big decision. We’d like to help you move through this process as easily as possible, which is why we’ve assembled twelve tips for you to review in this article. Good luck with your home purchase!
#1 – Pick a Team
You don’t want to go into this process alone. It’s a good idea to have both a Maryland real estate agent and a mortgage lender working with you before getting started. Bringing in experienced professionals will go a long way toward calming your nerves.
#2 – Be Prepared Financially
This is going to be a big challenge from a financial perspective, so get organized ahead of time. Make sure your credit is in good condition, and deal with any problems on that side before you start shopping.
#3 – Think It Through
Are you sure you are ready to buy a home? This is a big decision, of course, and now just might not be the right time. Give it some serious thought and only process if you are confident that this is the right way to go.
#4 – Don’t Ignore the HOA
If there is an HOA – Home Owner’s Association – in place where you buy your place, understand the rules that will govern life in that area. Restrictive HOAs don’t always make for an enjoyable experience.
#5 – Understand What’s Important
See a house you love with ugly paint on the walls? Don’t worry about it – paint is an easy fix. The things that are important about a home are the things you can’t really change, such a location, floor plan, etc.
#6 – Remember the Little Costs
Buying a house is expensive, as the costs run well beyond just the purchase price of the home. You’ll also need to consider taxes, potential HOA fees, maintenance, repair, and on and on. It can add up quick, so don’t let yourself be caught off guard.
#7 – Hold Some in Reserve
Speaking of money, it would be wise to plan your housing budget in a way that leaves at least a little in the bank when all is said and done. This process is going to get even more stressful if you have no money left after your loan closes and the house is yours.
#8 – Diversify Your Visits
At first, you’ll probably do most of your house shopping on weekends, when you have free time. But that is only one way to view a neighborhood. As you move along in the process, try visiting at different times to get a better feel for what life there would be like.
#9 – Make Connections
Another way to get a good feel for a neighborhood is to ask people who already live there for an opinion. Just a few conversations can go a long way toward helping you imagine the future if you make the move.
#10 – Have a Negotiating Plan
Are you set on having a home inspection no matter what? Are there any concessions you are willing to make to get a deal done? Talk about this with your agent in advance so you can negotiate successfully.
#11 – Make a Priority List
You simply aren’t going to find everything you want in a home, unless you have a budget in the millions. Make a list of your top priorities and use that to guide your search.
#12 – Be Ready to Act
Depending on market conditions, you may not have a lot of time to make a move when you find a house you like. Have everything organized in advance so you can strike when the opportunity presents itself.