Finally made the decision to go from renter to first-time home buyer? Not sure where to start? No worries! We have put together a list of some basic starters that will get you set on your homebuying journey. So, let’s get started!
Talk to a Loan Officer
While you might be excited about searching for “the house,” do not start your search until talking to a loan officer first! Getting preapproved from your mortgage lender confirms that you’re able to borrow the money necessary to finance the home. While not the same as a cash offer, it shows a seller that you’re not only qualified but also prepared and quite serious about purchasing their home. Another buyer may offer to pay more, but if they are not preapproved, you will have a leg up. A loan officer can also help you determine how much house you can afford in addition to figuring out your down payment options.
Find a Realtor
A realtor can be a huge help when buying a home. Not only can agents discover homes for sale as soon as they are listed, but they also know the housing market in your area and can provide unique insights that will help you find the perfect home. When finding a real estate agent, ask friends and family for recommendations, read online reviews, and be sure to speak with several options before deciding on the agent that is right for you.
Determine a Location
Having a firm idea of where you would like to live helps you get started on narrowing your home search. Whether it’s in a good school district, within an easy commute to work, or just an area that fits you, finding a home in the perfect location is crucial in your house hunting. Location will also play a role in determining the cost of a house. If the home is in a popular metropolitan area, it’s most likely that you’ll get a smaller home for a higher price, unlike homes just outside of city limits that can offer more for a lower price. Be sure to make your decision based on what works best with your budget and needs.
Narrow Your House Search
Once you narrowed your search to the right area, you can start searching for the listings that fit your needs and your budget. A good starting point is figuring out the minimum amount of square footage, bedrooms, and bathrooms you need. This makes it easier for you and your realtor to narrow down your list even more so you can begin to schedule house visits. You can specify even more wants and needs with our home buying checklist!
Home buying is a process, and when you follow all the key steps, your home buying journey will be such much easier. Need help on getting started? Contact one of our ALCOVA Loan Officers today!