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What to know before buying your first home

Buying your first home

Buying your first home is a major milestone and an exciting time in your life. However, it can also be a daunting and overwhelming process, especially if you are doing it for the first time. In today’s market, there are a few things to consider that can help make the process a little smoother.

  1. Do your research: It’s important to have a good understanding of the real estate market in the area where you are looking to buy. Look at home prices, availability, and other factors that may affect your decision. You can do this by looking at real estate websites and talking to real estate agents.
  2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Before you start looking at homes, it’s a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you a better idea of how much you can afford and help you narrow down your search. It will also make the process of actually buying the home go more smoothly, as the seller will know that you are a serious buyer with financing in place.
  3. Find a real estate agent: A good real estate agent can be a valuable resource, as they have a wealth of knowledge about the local market and can help you find the perfect home. Make sure to do your research and find an agent who you feel comfortable working with and who has a track record of success.
  4. Make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves: It’s important to have a clear idea of what you are looking for in a home. Make a list of the features that are non-negotiable for you and those that would be nice to have but are not essential. This will help you focus your search and avoid wasting time looking at homes that don’t meet your needs.
  5. Be prepared to negotiate: Once you find a home that you love, you may need to negotiate with the seller in order to get the best price. Be prepared to make counteroffers and be open to compromise. It’s important to remember that the seller is looking to get the best price for their home as well, so it’s a balancing act.

Buying your first home can be a stressful process, but with some careful planning and preparation, it can also be a rewarding and exciting experience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek out the resources that are available to you. With a little bit of diligence and patience, you will be able to find the perfect home for you and your family.

Terms to know:

  1. Earnest Money– Earnest money is a deposit made by a buyer to show that they are serious about purchasing a piece of real estate. This money is typically held in escrow, and it is used to demonstrate the buyer’s commitment to the transaction. The amount of earnest money varies and is often negotiable, but it is typically one to two percent of the purchase price of the property. If the sale goes through as planned, the earnest money is applied toward the purchase price. If the sale falls through, the earnest money may be returned to the buyer or used to cover any expenses incurred during the transaction process. Earnest money is an important part of the real estate buying process and helps to protect both the buyer and the seller during the transaction.
  2. Home inspection– A home inspection is a comprehensive evaluation of the condition of a home, conducted by a professional home inspector. The purpose of a home inspection is to identify any potential issues or problems with the home, including structural, electrical, plumbing, and other systems. During a home inspection, the inspector will examine the home’s exterior, roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems, and other major components. They may also test appliances, windows, doors, and other features. Add-on inspections like a swear line and Radon inspection are also recommended. The price of inspection varies but ranges from $400- $1200 depending on the sq footage of the home and what inspections are completed. The inspector will then provide a detailed report of their findings, including any necessary repairs or maintenance items that should be addressed. Home inspections are typically conducted during the process of buying or selling a home, but they can also be useful for homeowners who want to have a better understanding of the condition of their home and identify any potential issues before they become major problems. A home inspection can provide peace of mind and help protect the buyer or seller from unexpected costs or repairs down the road.
  3. Buyer’s Agent– A buyer’s agent is a real estate agent who represents the interests of a homebuyer during the process of purchasing a property. The buyer’s agent works with the buyer to identify suitable properties, negotiate the purchase price and terms, and guide the buyer through the closing process. A buyer’s agent is typically paid a commission by the seller of the property, and their primary goal is to help the buyer find the best property for their needs and budget. They will work with the buyer to understand their wants and needs, and then use their knowledge of the local real estate market to help the buyer find properties that meet their criteria. A buyer’s agent can also provide valuable guidance during the negotiation process, helping the buyer to get the best possible price and terms for the property. They can also provide advice on financing options, closing costs, and other important considerations. Overall, a buyer’s agent is a valuable resource for anyone looking to purchase a home, as they can help to make the process smoother and more efficient, and help the buyer find the perfect property for their needs.

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