Buying a home is a dream for many, whether it be the place to create a life, a financial opportunity, or both. But for many first time home buyers, buying their first home can feel like a daunting process: not only is it a large investment but for the inexperienced, but also the process can feel overwhelming as well. However, the mortgage lenders of Home Financing Center are here to help you!

Keep reading to learn more about the home buying process, and visit the Home Financing Center website to get pre-approved. 

9 Tips For First Time Home Buyers

Buying a home is exciting! Not only is it a sizable financial investment, but it is often the beginning of a significant time in your personal life. Whether that be a new achievement as a single person or starting a life together with a partner or family. However, it can also be a daunting event that, without planning, can be a negative experience. In other words, for the most success in buying a home, follow these steps. 

  • Prepare For a Mortgage & Define Your Budget
  • Begin House Shopping

Prepare For a Mortgage & Define Your Budget

It can be fun to begin looking at homes and dreaming about where you will live, but when it’s time to start being serious about moving forward to actually buy a home, you need to think less about the color you want to paint the master bedroom and more about monthly cost. 

Know What You Want

One of the first steps in buying a home is knowing what kind of home you would like to buy, where you would like to live, and how much money you will need to buy a home. By knowing how much money you need for the home you would like to have, you can have a better idea if you are ready to buy. Though in some cases, you don’t need a large down payment to get the home you would like, in most cases, it is best to plan for one. 

  • Pro Tip: If you haven’t already, start saving for a down payment. If you’ve already started saving for a down payment, then save for closing costs, moving costs, and possible maintenance for your new home. Not sure how much you should save? Talk to one of our lenders.

Address Possible Hurdles

Before moving forward in the buying process, you should also consider possible hurdles to getting the loan, and subsequently, the home that you want. One of the biggest obstacles is your credit. Though getting a pre-approval letter can help you see your weak areas, it is best to proactively look into what could be hurting your chances of acquiring the best loan for you. If credit is an issue, start fixing it by paying off debt, fixing errors, and pause all other activities that could be negatively affecting your credit. 

Explore Your Options

As you are preparing for a mortgage, it is important to understand all of your options. There are several types of home loans available and being familiar with the advantages these loans could provide can help you know how much you need to save and how you could acquire a lower interest rate. Also, there are some home loans that have been created with specific needs in mind such as those for veterans and those in rural areas. 

  • Pro Tip: For first time home buyers, there are several options for helping you buy your first home. Look into assistance programs and understand how they can help you and how they may affect the loan you would need to acquire. 

Get a Pre-Approval Letter

Before you apply for a loan, it is best to get a preapproval letter. A letter can not only give you an idea of what type of loan is possible for you but it can also help to set you apart from other buyers on the market. A pre-approval letter shows that you’re serious about buying a home and have the finances to back it up. 

Begin House Shopping

After you have been saving, optimizing your credit, and you have been pre-approved, you can start seriously looking for your home — which is arguably the most fun part of the process. 

Have an Idea of What You Want

By this time, you will likely have, at the very least, an idea of what you want or where you want to live. However, if it has been a while since you began saving for a home, it is best to do some research and know what you really want as far as the type of house, amenities of the neighborhood, and location. Having one or all or all of these aspects decided will help make house shopping productive.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

After you have an idea of what you want in a home, you can hire a real estate agent. Though it might be easy to settle on the first real estate agent you thought to call, for the best experience, meet with a few agents until you find one that you feel comfortable with and who seems like they understand what you are looking for. The right real estate agent can help guide you through the home buying process and can be an excellent resource for first-time home buyers. 

Choose Your Next Neighborhood Wisely

It’s easy to fall in love with a house and think that you don’t care about where it is. However, ultimately, where the house is will have an overall effect on your satisfaction. If you haven’t already researched the area, look into aspects of the neighborhood such as: 

  • Schools (even if you don’t have kids, area schools will affect your home’s value)
  • Safety and crime rates
  • Homeowners associations and fees
  • Neighborhood noise, traffic, and activity level
  • Amenities of the area
  • Distance from work, and other important locations

Buying a home is a big investment, make sure you know exactly what you are getting! 

Stick To Your Budget

Before house shopping, it is important to have a budget in mind not only for how much the house will cost but also how much it may cost to live there. For example, you should take into consideration small expenses such as homeowner association fees as well as maintenance costs. All of these costs can affect the overall cost of your home and easily put you over budget. Before signing the contract, be sure you know exactly how much you will be paying for your home. Even if you are in love with the home now, if you decide to buy a home out of your budget, you may grow to resent it later. 

Get the Most Out of Showings & Open Houses

Walking into a home and seeing pictures and video of it online can be two different experiences. As you tour a home, it is important to be aware of how you feel in the home and to see all of the advantages of it, as well as to look for anything that may be undesirable. Though we always suggest a home inspection by a licensed inspector, be mindful of aspects of the home such as: 

  • Overall condition of home
  • Smells
  • Stains
  • Disrepair
  • Appliances

Whenever you see a home in person, know what are non-negotiables and those aspects of the home that are absolutely necessary. 

Preparing for buying a home can be a long process. However, the right preparation in each step can help you have the most success and ultimately make a favorable investment and find a home that will serve you. The home loan mortgage lenders of Home Financing Center would love to help you through the process. We are the largest independent mortgage broker in Southern Florida and are located in Coral Gables. Visit our website to learn about us, home loans and how the Top Rated Local® Mortgage Company in Miami-Dade County can help you.