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Tips for first time homebuyers

Friday, September 2, 2022   /   by Laura Larson

Tips for first time homebuyers

New you…new home? A flood of aspiring homebuyers is expected to jump into an already highly competitive market that’s being driven by a pandemic-led shift in home preferences, remote work opportunities, low inventory, and maybe deterred by the increase in mortgage interest rates.

First-time home buyers who plan to join the bull market would be wise to prepare now for home buying success this fall.

Get honest about what you can afford as a first resolution.
A mortgage calculator online can help you determine how much you can afford based on your income and down payment before you fall in love with your dream home while browsing our site. This will save you from experiencing heartbreak.

Don't forget to account for enough money to pay for additional costs, such as taxes, appraisal fees, and homeowners insurance, when figuring out how much you can afford. Homeowners should budget more than $9,000 a year, or more than $750 a month, for hidden expenses including utilities, upkeep, and property taxes.

Boost your credit score (or at least don’t hurt it)
It's critical to maintain a strong credit score in a credit-constrained environment. Before beginning the pre-approval procedure, assess your existing credit position and create a plan to improve your credit score if necessary. Over the course of a mortgage, a higher credit score can result in savings of tens of thousands of dollars.

Get pre-approved, not just pre-qualified
Buyers who get pre-approved well ahead of their house hunt can make a competitive offer quickly when they find their dream home. Pre-approval means you are approved for full financing and requires a more comprehensive finance and credit check than pre-qualification. In today’s competitive housing market, pre-approval allows you to make a confident offer and stand out from buyers who might not be able to close as quickly.

Hire a representative with the necessary qualifications.
According to data, four out of every ten purchasers submit multiple offers. Employing an agent that is knowledgeable with multiple offer scenarios, escalation clauses, and other tactics that make your offer stand out might be beneficial in today's marketLook for top-rated agents who deliver great customer service such as Larson Fine Properties..., and An expert local agent, like Laura Larson, can help you understand what makes a winning offer in your area.

Get tech-savvy
The pandemic has accelerated technology that makes it faster, easier and safer to shop for a home, which is critical in a fast-changing market where homes nationwide are selling in a median of 18 days.

Use that technology to your advantage by creating personalized saved searches for instant email notifications the minute an ideal home hits the market. View integrated 3D home tours and floor plans to get an immersive sense of home and narrow down your options from your couch. When it’s time to tour a home in person, look for self-tour technology that allows you to instantly tour a vacant Zillow-owned home on your schedule.   

Have a Plan B
Your dream home may not materialize the month before your lease is about to expire. That’s why it’s important to have a plan B that takes the time pressure off the home buying process. According to research, about half of buyers (47%) consider renting when searching for a home to buy — a good practice when you’re making a decision about what is likely your biggest financial investment.  

That said, more than half of all buyers who stay within their budget make compromises to buy a home, like buying a smaller home or a home with a longer commute, according to the research. Deciding on priorities and where you’re willing to compromise ahead of time can prevent stress and arguments when you’re in the middle of the home-buying process.