10 Tips for First-time Homebuyers


  • 1. Be Selective, but don’t be unrealistic – No home is perfect. Look for location, price and condition and realize you can usually have two out of the three.
  • 2. Do your own research before you begin your search – Decide what is important on your wish list. What you must have and what you want to have will be of different importance.
  • 3. Get your finances in order – Go over your comfort financial zone. Figure out how much you have to put down on a home, including your closing costs, which usually run 4-5 percent of the loan amount.
  • 4. Get Pre-approved, not just Pre-Qualified – Sit down with a lender, review your credit and provide them with the information needed so they can provide you with the amount you can afford.
  • 5. Don’t get too many opinions – Select one or two people to turn to for a second opinion or it may be overwhelming.
  • 6. Decide when a move is right for you – Are you renting? When is your lease up? Are you allowed to sub-let? Are you relocating? Are you starting a new job?
  • 7. Think long-term – Is a starter house what you are looking for? Or a home to grow into? Your answer will determine which type of home you will be searching for, along with which mortgage type is best for you.
  • 8. Be realistic in your affordability – Don’t let yourself be “house poor”. You will need money each month for maintenance, decorating and possible renovations or just to save for the future.
  • 9. Hire a home inspector – It is worth the $450-$500. Home inspectors go over the house from top to bottom and explain the ins and outs. You will receive a complete inspection report with items to be addressed now and in the future.
  • 10. Hire a Realtor – Agents work for the seller, unless hired by the buyer. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a Certified Buyer Representative is working for you and their fiduciary responsibility is to the buyer. Many buyers working with a real estate agent assume they are working for them. Agents owe honesty and fairness to Buyer Customers and many buyers choose to work that way and not enter into a contractual agreement with the agent.
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