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Category: First Time Home Buyer

Getting the Most Out of Your Home Inspection

What is a Home Inspection?

As the word implies, a home inspection is the process of inspecting a home thoroughly in order to give detailed and accurate information about the house in regards to its present condition.

The inspection is done by a hired professional, who is qualified and experienced enough to examine all the physical aspects of the entire house such as walls, doors, windows, pipes, roofing, wiring, structure, surroundings, and more. This is done to determine the real value of the house through a detailed home inspection report. Read More!

What Does Buyer’s Market Mean?

What Does Buyer’s Market Mean for a Home buyer?

If you’ve seen any news program in the past couple years, you’ve undoubtedly heard the term “buyer’s market.” A buyer’s market is when there are lots of homes for sale available and home buyers don’t have to compete with one another over pieces of real estate. A buyer’s market will typically get you the best deals possible on purchasing a home. Not only there are a lot of homes that are priced lower than they might be otherwise, there’s also a lot of room for negotiation to help bring down the purchase price even further. Read More!

First Time Home Buyer Tips

For a first time home buyer the process of buying a home can seem a little overwhelming. For some, it can be very stressful and nerve-racking. After all, buying a house is one of the largest purchases of the lifetime for most people. Showings, inspections, multiple offer situations, home prices higher than you expected, loan approval, etc. can all add up and seem like a lot to deal with. But don’t sweat, if you prepare and make a solid plan, buying your first home is not all that bad. If you are a first-time home buyer, then these tips might be helpful.

Get Pre-Approved

Almost every first time home buyer automatically assumes that applying for a home loan is one of the last steps in the process. Although you can certainly wait until you find that perfect house but good luck finding a real estate agent willing to spend his or her weekends with you looking at homes when you are not pre-approved. What if you find that perfect house and then when times comes to make an offer someone else buys it while you are working on your pre-approval, or even worse, you don’t get per-approved and all the time spend on your home search goes to waste. Getting pre-approved is one of the most important steps and one of the first steps you should make before shopping for a home. Why? Because you need to know how much you qualify for which will help you determine a price range.

Get Pre-Approved Before You Find Your Dream House

The most devastating thing is to find a house of your dreams and then find out that you don’t qualify for a loan. You are not only wasting your time but your real estate agent’s time as well. After all, real estate agents work on commissions and get paid only at closing, they don’t get paid by the hour and don’t get paid when they show you homes, so be aware and respectful of that.

Know Your Budget

By being pre-approved ahead of time, you’ll know exactly how much you have to spend on a home. As a first time home buyer, do some research and see what kinds of mortgages would work best for you, and shop around. There’s nothing wrong with making lenders compete to give you the best rate and terms possible. Your real estate agent will most likely have a loan officer that they like working with, so make sure you talk to a few of them.

Hire a Real Estate Agent in MN

One of the most important things that will make all the difference in helping you buy a home is to hire a real estate agent that has experience and will be there for you every step if the way. A good real estate agent can make the most complex and confusing transaction go so smooth that you won’t even notice. Not all real estate agents are the same.

Tell Your Real Estate Agent That You Are a First Time Home Buyer

Some specialize in working with sellers, others with short sales and foreclosures, and other prefer working with a first time home buyer clients like you. Regardless of what your real estate agent specializes in, make sure to let him or her know that you are a first time home buyer and might need a little bit more “home buyer education” and need better understanding of the home buying process. There is no shame in asking questions and being better educated to help you make a good decision. Make sure you have some personal time with an agent, whether it’s a visit to their office or a telephone call, just to make sure that the two of you click. After all, you’ll be interacting with your real estate agent quite a bit and often times it might turn into a long-term relationship.

Agents Save You Time

The right type of an agent will bring you a lot of benefits. Mostly, agents are excellent for getting the legwork done in finding and finalizing a home purchase. For a first time home buyer this can be especially helpful. Whether it’s filtering out overpriced listings or having knowledge of homes for sale that are not yet listed on the market, real estate agents can help save you a lot of time. They can help sort through the many available listings in the location of your choice and send you the ones that meet your criteria. Some agents will even take a look at homes for you so that you don’t have to.

Looking at Homes For Sale

This is probably one of the most exciting and tiring steps – looking at homes for sale. Showing after showing, it can get very exhausting and frustrating. Keep to a maximum of six or seven homes in a day so that you’re not overwhelmed by options, it can get very confusing. Rank the homes that you see and take notes to help you remember them when you get back home. Expect to spend a fair amount of time looking and mulling over your options. Jumping into any random home just because you are sick of looking at them isn’t something that you want to do. You might spend anywhere from one to two months looking at homes for sale and considering the houses that appeal to you. For a first time home buyer, that may seem exhausting. But once you narrow it down to one or two places, it becomes much easier to focus on picking the one.

Don’t Forget About a Home Inspection

One of the big mistakes that buyers make is failing to do a home inspection. Some seasoned home buyers order a home inspection prior to making an offer. Home inspection is considered a contract contingency, which means that you, the buyer, have the option to cancel the deal if there’s something major wrong with the house and the seller isn’t willing to correct the problem. Instances of bad wiring, plumbing, bad windows, siding or roof can cause major expenses and a night mare for any first time home buyer that decides to skip on the inspection. Remember that every house has issues and it is good to know about them because you can use it as a negotiating tool to help you get a better home.

List Price isn’t a Sold Price

It’s important to remember that the list price doesn’t always mean that its the price that seller will get. Don’t feel like you have no room to negotiate. As a first time home buyer, it is important to understand that list price is simply a price that a seller thinks the house is worth but a lot of times it could be over or under priced and a good real estate agents will be able to help you determine that. Always ask your agent to do some research on the comps in the area so you have an idea of how much homes sell for in the neighborhood. Looking at comps and neighborhood data can also help you make a more educated and accurate offer.

Multiple Offers Are Not Always Bad

Depending upon market conditions, sometimes you should be prepared to pay a little above what the seller is asking. The housing market fluctuates all the time. If you find that you’re looking to purchase during a flood of buyers, the competition for a particular home or area can mean that, in order to seal the deal, you’ve got to pay a little extra. Conversely, in a buyer’s market, where there’s a surplus of homes, it may be easier to get a seller to come down a little ways for the sake of getting their home off their hands.

Check If There Are Any First Time Home Buyer Incentives

Don’t be shy, be sure to look into any special tax breaks or incentives for a first time home buyer so that you can get all the help available to you! Ask your real estate agent or research online to look and see what assistance you might qualify for, it’s never a bad thing!

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