Tips for First Time Home Buyers
Tips for First Time Home Buyers
September 25, 2016
Buying a home is one of the largest financial decisions of your life. As the market stands today, now is the perfect time to transition from renting into owning. With the interest rates at an all time low, renters have incentive now to take their hard earned money and put it into an investment, rather than in to someone else’s pocket.
In order to make an educated decision of where and when to buy a home, you must know the ins and outs of homeownership. This commitment to purchase a home will impact your life for years to come, so it is crucial to be fully educated on the process.
#1. Do YOUR Research
Buying a home is not an easy task. Doing your research is essential to making the RIGHT decision. Examine the area in which you want to live. Do you plan on having children? Is the school district important to you? Take your time to look at sites such as www.greatschools.org to see the schools’ ratings. Is the school system a place you could see your children or future children going to and enjoying? What about the neighborhood? Are there young families with small children or do most of the homeowners have older offspring? Are there things to do in and around the community? What do people do for fun? All of these questions are what first time homebuyers should be contemplating when looking to establish roots in an area.
As a potential first time buyer in the Lehigh Valley, you are in luck! The Valley continues to prosper year after year, boasting highly rated school districts and continued financial growth. With successful businesses in the area, homeowners are sure to be pleased when making a decision to purchase. Also, making sure there is things to do for fun is another aspect to consider. In a recent blog, we put together the Top 5 Things to Do in the Valley. Even if you take an additional 10 minutes to do your own research in order to see what the Lehigh Valley has to offer, it will NOT disappoint. The area is full of shopping, dining and entertainment!
Spending the time to do this research and to figure out exactly what you are looking for in a community will make the buying process that much easier.
#2. Think Long Term
Taking that research from #1 and using it to think long term is valuable. Some questions to consider: Is the area you’re interested in an up and coming area? Have the home values stayed the same, decreased or increased over the past ten years? Is there a lot of development going on? All of these factors play a significant role in deciding in your home purchase. Buying a home is an investment. You are not just investing in the actual home you live in, but in the community, school district and surrounding area. Taking your time to diligently evaluate the area can make or break the future resale of your home. Is this home and community going to be a desirable area in years to come?
There are many financial options out there for all buyers and especially first time homebuyers. Get Pre-Approved! By doing this, you will be able to get a true evaluation of what you can comfortable afford. Things to consider before getting approved? Organize your documents. Wherever you go to get pre-approved, they are going to need the same paperwork! w2’s, tax returns, student loans, bank statements, etc are needed to get you that initial pre-approval as well as the final loan. Also, create a budget! What are your monthly expenditures? Keep this at the forefront so you know realistically what you can spend monthly on your mortgage.
#4. Write Down Clear Expectations
As we’ve stated time and time again, buying a home is a major financial decision. Not everything you want in your dream home has to be put in immediately. Making a list of must haves vs. luxury items is a great idea and will help you fine tune and maintain your budget. Prioritizing is key. Items such as recessed lighting is one of the top must haves on many peoples lists. Putting them in during the construction phase is much cheaper than having to go in later to add them. Not sure whether you will want to add a bathroom into your basement? Putting in a 3-piece rough in for a bathroom is less expensive during the building phase than after as well. Things like this can be discussed with our Sales staff to make sure you are getting what you want out of your home while still maintaining your budget.
As you begin your journey from renting to owning, remember to do your research and to ask yourself and Real Estate professionals lots of questions! Planning for your life is the best thing you can do.
We wish you luck in your search for a new home. Happy House Hunting!