The thought of becoming a homeowner is an exciting one, especially when it’s going to be your
first time owning a home.
While exciting, there are some things you should know before jumping in. The more you know beforehand, the smoother and more fulfilling your experience as a homeowner will be.
Know What to Look for in a Home
First and foremost, when looking for your first home, you have to know what to look for. This
often means seeking the services of a contractor or home inspector.
You’ll need to identify problems and understand how expensive any potential problem with the property can be.
If any, structural issues should be assessed by a professional so that you will know how costly it will be to fix once you purchase the property.
A leaky roof can be an easy fix. Black mold is not. Knowing the difference is imperative to your
success as a potential homeowner.
Have a Down Payment Ready Before You Buy
Whether you’ve picked out your dream home or not, you should have a sum of money set aside
for a down payment.
For conservatively priced homes, anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 would be appropriate to have on hand for a down payment.
If you’re in an expensive metropolitan area like the San Francisco Bay Area, you may want to double or triple that.
Being able to provide a down payment shows sellers that you’re serious. It will also help save you a lot of time.
You don’t want to be stuck scrambling for a down payment at the last minute and have the home swept out from under you by a more well-prepared buyer.
Get a Firm Understanding of Where the Property Lines Are
Once you’ve decided on a home and have begun the purchasing process, you should make an effort to have the property lines explained to you in full detail.
Some new homeowners get into unnecessary and embarrassing disputes with their neighbors because they don’t have a clear understanding of who owns what.
Neighborly disputes can turn ugly very quickly and have you, your neighbors, or all of you
wanting to move away as fast as possible.
Don’t Get in Over Your Head
One of the biggest mistakes aspiring new homeowners make is to get in over their heads. Your partner might be in love with the kitchen and have a concerningly passionate attachment to the bathroom, but if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.
You might love it now, but once you start cracking your piggy bank open and foraging for loose
change under the couch to pay your house payment, being a homeowner begins to lose its
The smart play is to buy a home you can afford comfortably.
Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate
When you’re shopping for a home for the first time, you might find yourself feeling a bit timid.
That timidity could carry over into negotiations. Don’t let it! Some folks are afraid to negotiate because submitting a lower offer or counteroffer may be seen as insulting or inappropriate.
As a potential buyer, you have more power than you think. While it’s true things can shift from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market and vice versa, never underestimate the power you have as a buyer.
If the property you desire is out of your league in terms of price, don’t be afraid to Negotiate. Roll up your sleeves and throw out an offer that you think is fair. Find things about the property to justify a lower offer.
Is the yard unkempt?
Is there slight structural damage?
Is there mold in the bathroom?
Are the carpets filthy or out of style?
These are all factors that you can latch onto and work with to command a lower price. The best way to get a property for the price you want is to work with an experienced real estate agent.
The right agent can put your offer into professional and more compelling terms.
Find a Stellar Real Estate Agent To Help You
The best way to safeguard your interests and ensure you have the best possible experience and outcome as a new homeowner is to partner up with a stellar real estate agent.
While doing it on your own might sound adventurous, the odds of getting a good deal will be
stacked against you, especially as a first-time buyer.
It pays to play it safe and work with an experienced real estate agent. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting an agent.
To get the best deal on a home and the most value out of working with a professional, you need an agent that you can trust.
One of the most important things to ask a realtor is if they are a buyer’s agent. Some realtors are seller’s agents, meaning their services and interests are tilted towards the sellers.
Some more unscrupulous realtors fashion themselves as “dual agents.” Steer clear of these. A dual agent will do their utmost to make a deal go through even if the terms are unfavorable to
Essentially, they play both sides, playing the seller against the buyer and vice versa. You need a buyer’s agent, someone who specializes in representing buyers and getting them the best deal possible.
Once you’ve found the right agent, you’ll have a powerful ally on your side, one that can make your experience as a first-time homebuyer a smashing success!
Plan for Growth
Another thing many first time buyers forget to do when picking out their home is to plan for growth.
Are you planning on having a second child soon?
Will you have to move an elderly parent into the home in a few years?
Do you want to build an addition on a home that doesn’t have enough property to accommodate one?
If so, scratch that cute cozy two-bedroom home off of your list.
These are all questions you should be asking yourself before committing to a property.
If you neglect this crucial step, you could get stuck in a cramped two-bedroom house with three kids and an in-law with no room to expand. It happens, sometimes.
Planning To Sell Your House
When the time comes for you to sell your home, consider selling it directly to Contenza Properties.
We can buy your house as-is, so you don’t have to do any repairs, cleaning, or staging.
Contact Contenza Properties today and get a hassle-free offer for your property.