There aren’t many purchases in life that match up to buying your first home. It’s as exciting as it is unnerving… especially when you think about the huge financial commitment you are about to make for the next 15 to 30 years. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal to want to feel like you’re going to throw up at this point. Like labor pains for a woman about to give birth, this is something every first time home buyer goes through….deep breaths…
Over the past 12 years as an Orlando realtor I’ve always tried to emphasis to my clients the importance of knowing exactly what they’re getting into before buying a home. These are some tips that will get you started in the right direction to becoming a successful home buyer.
1-Find Out About Your Credit
Unless you’re able to pay cash for your home, you’ll need to acquire financing to make your home purchase. If you’re new to this, the financial process can seem challenging and complex but if you have the right lender or mortgage broker helping you it should help make things run more smoothly.
Your mortgage options will basically center around your credit. You should educate yourself on what goes into making your credit score and how you can improve it prior to applying for a mortgage loan. Even more importantly you should find out what can cause a negative effect on your credit. I’ve had cases where a client has been pre-approved but when it’s time to close they get denied because of some recent purchase or payment.
If your credit needs help, then it’s time to start the credit repair process. By making sure your credit score is in decent shape you’ll be taking care of one of the biggest issues in the home buying process as well as have the best chance at getting a lower interest rate on your mortgage.
It’s imperative that you know how much you can afford to spend before going house hunting. Your lender or mortgage broker can give you an estimate on how big of a loan you can get approved for. Once you know how much you can afford or want to afford, you can then shop for homes within your price range.
3-Hire A Top Realtor
You could choose to start a preliminary search on your own through some of the national home listing sites like Zillow, but you’ll quickly discover that house hunting online can get exhausting real quick…especially if you’re not familiar with the area you’re looking in.
There are so many mistakes you can make and so much to learn that hiring an Orlando Realtor in your area is the best way to protect yourself and be more efficient in the home buying process. Be sure to interview at least 3 buyers agents in your area and get references from recent clients to make sure you get a good one.
4-Know What Kind Of House You Want
Houses come in all shaped, sizes, styles so it’s important to know exactly what you want… condo? Single family? Town house?. Take time to consider all the things you need and want in a home like the location, size, amenities, etc. Families with children usually start with their children’s needs like good schools, etc.
Once you know what you want then it’s time to have that conversation with your Realtor and get an idea of what your options are.
5-Set Up An Emergency Repair Fund
Owning a house is a lot more costly that most people realize. There’s no landlord to make repairs and you need to be prepared in case some big ticket item needs replacing like an AC unit or a water heater. The best thing to do is have a few thousand set aside for just that and don’t touch it because sooner or later something will break…
By following these basic tips in your home buying process you’ll increase your chances of a positive home buying experience.