First Time Home Buyers
Are you ready for home ownership? Owning a home is the ultimate dream many of us have, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience you anticipated, you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the mortgage, taxes and home maintenance responsibilities that come with it. It's very different than renting. Here are some questions and things to consider before you buy your first home.
How much can you afford? A very important first step in considering buying a home is to speak with a lender to pre-qualify for a loan. This will determine the price range of home you can purchase and set the parameters of your home search. It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership a burden rather than a point of pride. It's better to buy a modest home now and look at purchasing your "dream home" in a few years. We work with a few reputable local lenders and would be glad to provide their contact information to you to pre-qualify.
Preparing for costs associated with your purchase. Depending upon what type of loan you qualify for, your required down payment could be anywhere from zero to about 20% of the purchase price. In addition to your down payment, there are other costs associated with your purchase. Loan closing costs typically run about 3% of the purchase price. Your appraisal fee typically runs around the $300 and your lender usually requires this to be paid up front. Your home inspection will also cost around $300. If you decide to have a radon test done, this can run from $100 to $200. A survey will vary depending upon the lot size, but they start in the $250 range. And you will need to buy a home owners insurance policy, which will vary in cost according to your square footage and purchase price but start around the $350 range. If you don't have the funds to pay for your closing costs, this is often something that can be negotiated in your contract for the seller to pay on your behalf, if they are willing and able to do so. The other above costs, however, are typically paid by the buyer. You will need to have enough money in the bank to not only cover these costs, but also a certain amount of money left over as required by your lender.
What type of home would best suit your needs? Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters and handling your own lawn care? Or would you prefer to purchase in a condo or town home community where these things are usually done for you? Are community covenants important to you that regulate things like no parking on the street, how many cars can be parked in your driveway, in addition to the requirement to obtain approval for building a fence, painting the exterior of your home, installing a pool, etc. These regulations help to keep a neighborhood in excellent shape. However, if you like your privacy, work on cars, have a boat or a camper, then buying in a neighborhood that has less restrictions or no covenants may be a better choice for you.
Negotiating an offer. In addition to helping you find the home of your dreams, we assist you in negotiating the best offer through our many years of real estate experience and local market knowledge. We are with you every step of the way and handle the details from contract to close.
Home inspection. Having a home inspection is something we highly recommend that you do. A good home inspector has a large list of items to check for inside and outside the home. The inspection process can take anywhere from about three to several hours, depending upon the size of home. The cost for an inspection typically begins around the $300 mark for homes in the $200K and under range. We would be glad to provide you with the names of a few home inspectors if you need them.
Final walkthrough. A few days prior to close or sometimes on the morning of closing, the buyer typically does a walk-through to ascertain that the home is in the same condition as when they submitted their offer and that any agreed upon home inspection repairs have been completed to their satisfaction.
Ready to get started? We'd be glad to help! Just call us directly at 770-402-2900 or email us your contact information and home search criteria below. - Anita Davis -