The decision to go from renter to homeowner is a big one and can be intimidating if tackling alone. It can feel daunting for a good reason too; it’s the single largest purchase most people may ever make.
To help ease your fears and ensure you make the best choices, there are some things and services that every first-time home buyer ought to know they have access to.
Consider this advice to help ensure your home buying experience is successful:
- Get in touch with a real estate agent. Whether you are in planning on purchasing in the next 2 months or 2 years, having a guide is always extremely helpful. I tell my clients no matter the stage they are in it’s always better to have a plan with actionable steps as to meet the end goal of buying a home. Your realtor should be able to direct you to learn more about grant and assistance programs available based on your location and connect you with classes or programs that can provide discounts and education on the process.
- Connect with at least one reputable lender. Consider using the relationships your real estate broker has to connect with at least one lender. By no means is the first person you contact going to be the lender you have to eventually use, but they can help you identify a budget, a plan to save, repair any credit issues, and discuss budget needs that are personalized to you. Once you are ready to start shopping it can be beneficial to talk to multiple lenders to compare rates and programs.
- Start researching homes and understanding the market. Lean on your realtor for this! Start a list of things that are important to you to have in your new home and determine needs vs wants. This list can be quite expansive depending on the person or family and can change over time. I have a great checklist I provide to my clients to get their brains churning and am happy to share.
Your realtor should help you understand the market and send you homes that fit what you eventually would like to purchase. If on a long term plan I like to check in with my clients to see how their needs change over time and update accordingly. It can also be fun, if time and schedule permit, to spend some time looking at an array of houses in your anticipated budget to help set expectations.
The biggest thing to understand is that there are professionals available to help you reach your goals (and at no cost!). Let me know if you’d like to grab a coffee to see how I can help plan for your future.