Thinking about Buying your First Home? 5 Big Considerations for your Purchase

If you are ready to start the search for your first home, it is especially important to align yourself with an experienced Realtor to assist you in this purchase. Recent statistics show that about 37% of real estate buyers are purchasing for the first time. This leaves an additional 63% of the market as repeat buyers that are in most cases older {53 years of age vs. 31 years of age (avg) for first timers}, often more experienced in major life decisions and transitions, and frequently with higher credit scores, greater economic stability, and a prettier picture to offer mortgage lenders. **2011 National Association of REALTORS profile of home buyers and sellers: http://www.realtor.org/prodser.nsf/products/186-45-11?OpenDocument

Youth and inexperience are certainly not valid reasons to shy away from a home purchase, but you will need an advocate who knows the market and can guide you to this exciting milestone. I’d like to share a few important considerations for those of you considering your first home purchase. If you have a friend or family member thinking about taking the plunge, feel free to send this information their way.

  1. Get real with your mortgage lender about your TOTAL house payment on any property you are interested in. PITI: Principle + Interest + Taxes + Insurance is what makes up your monthly payment. If you are moving from an apartment or other rental property, you will also want to consider your monthly HOA, or Home Owner’s Association dues. Some neighborhoods have them, some don’t, but you’ll want to be aware of these additional costs when shopping for your home.
  2. Supersize may not feel so super when you take a look at your monthly utilities. First time buyers often neglect to consider the big picture in terms of the additional costs in dollars, and in time, of owning a home. Ask your Realtor to find out what the utlities bills average for a home you are especially interested in, and consider the costs of either hiring lawn maintenance providers for a large yard, or taking on this task yourself.
  3. Don’t waste time or energy “window shopping” for a home you can’t afford and won’t qualify for a mortgage on. If your budget allows for a $120,000 condo or townhome, work with your Realtor to find the best condo or townhome you can afford! As you move up the property ladder, a snazzier single family home may be in your future. It’s okay to dream, but don’t set yourself up for disappointment. A knowledgable Realtor will hone in on your wants and needs and show you attractive options in your actual price range, and keeping it real will keep you happier in the long run.
  4. Speaking of “what you can afford”, make sure you QUALIFY FOR HOME FINANCING before you begin a home search. A Realtor can direct you to reputable mortgage professional(s) you can choose from before you begin your search, and knowing what you can afford, and what you qualify for before you start shopping is vital.
  5. Be careful with your credit until your home purchase is effectively done. There is nothing more shocking to a first time buyer than learning that their dream of buying a home has been effectively killed by the purchase of a car, expensive furniture, or anything else that might affect their credit. Just don’t do it. Lenders pull a buyer’s credit to qualify them for a mortgage to begin with, and will also pull credit shortly before the closing of the sale to ensure the buyer’s credit remains in good standing and that they still meet the qualifications for the mortgage terms. Taking out a vehicle loan or charging furniture on a store credit account can change the fine balance of your credit picture and sour the deal. For most buyers, a shiny new set of wheels does not outweigh the benefits of their first home purchase.

Are you thinking about Buying your first home, or your next home? What about finally sticking a For Sale sign in the yard now that the sun is shining? I’m here to answer all of your questions, big and small, and to assist with all of your real estate needs. Let me know how I can help.

Jack Meyers

jackestate@aol.com

303.263.3050

Twitter: @jackestate

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