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Buying your first home? Here’s what you need to know

Stone and stucco cottage

Buying a home for the first time is one of the most exciting moments you can have in life.In all the excitement, however, it’s easy to lose sight of important things that can spell the difference between success and failure in your home buying journey.

To help you prepare for this milestone, we’ve listed the following tips on how to get the best outcome in your first-ever foray into homeownership.

  1. Set a budget and stick to it

    Before you start your home search, take a long, hard look at your finances and determine how much home you can truly afford. One of the best ways to find out is getting mortgage pre-approval. While pre-approval is not binding, it will give you a good idea on how much mortgage you’ll likely get approved for. You can use this amount in setting your budget and estimating your monthly amortizations.

    In crunching the numbers, don’t forget to factor in all other expenses that come with homeownership, including maintenance costs, insurance, and property taxes. Consider your basic household expenses as well, such as food, transportation, and supplies. You’d also want to have enough left over to build your savings, and perhaps, to spend on extras like family vacations and club memberships.

    Once you’ve come up with a budget you’re comfortable with, don’t stray too far from it. Narrow your home search only to properties that fall within your pre-determined budget.

  2. Identify what you need and what you want in a home

    Make two lists of the home features you’re looking for. The first list is for the things you can’t do without, such as the number of rooms, the location, storage space, and others. The second list is for amenities that will make living in your new home more enjoyable, such as a home entertainment system, a chef’s kitchen, or a recreation room.

    In looking for a home, fulfill the first list before moving on to the second, then consider how much more you have to pay for the extras. Go to as many open houses as you can to see how different features and amenities affect the pricing. You might find that it’s necessary to give up some items on your listsso you can stay within your budget.

  3. Be prepared for closing costs

    Many homebuyers overlook closing costs in setting a budget. Closing costs are the expenses you build up throughout the home buying process. These include miscellaneous fees, including banker’s and broker’s fees. You will also likely need to hire a lawyer to go over the sales contract and other legal issues of the sale, as well as a professional home inspector to identify any defects in the home. You may share some of the costs with the seller, but typically, most of these are paid by the buyer.

  4. Work with a Realtor you can trust

    A real estate professional can help you understand the process and the market, and guide you in making tough decisions. It’s easy to get emotional when buying a home and this can lead to costly mistakes. Having an objective Realtor by your side will not only make the journey easier and more pleasant, it will also significantly enhance your chances of success. Ask for referrals from people you know and look closely into a potential Realtors’ experience and track record before committing to work with one.

Midtown Realty, LLC has helped hundreds of first-time homebuyers fulfill their homeownership dreams. We’ll be happy to help you with yours. Contact us at this website or call us at 405-650-5875.

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