Taking the plunge into homeownership is a daunting prospect for many homebuyers. While there are many benefits to homeownership, it’s important to make the right choices when purchasing a home.
Is it the right time in life to buy?
The classic rule of thumb is that you should be buying a home if you plan to live in the same place for at least the next five years, and that’s still correct in most cases. Since there are transaction costs associated with purchasing and selling a home, if you have a strong suspicion you might be moving in the next year or two, you might want to consider renting instead.
Get an Agent!
Especially for first time homebuyers, working with an agent who knows their stuff is critical. Home purchases can get complicated and annoying pretty quickly, but having a competent professional working on your behalf can smooth out these issues.
Getting preapproved for a loan before searching for a home can save you a lot of time and narrow your focus when you are ready to get serious about looking for a home to purchase. Also, there is nothing more frustrating than finding the perfect home, only to find out that financing is going to be an issue.
Calling a mortgage broker or lender can be a daunting, especially if you haven’t borrowed money before, but most agents can recommend solid mortgage professionals who will help get your financing in order.
As a first-time homebuyer, you may qualify for many lower down payment loan options. These are government-sponsored programs to make it easy for people who are ready to become homeowners, but haven’t necessarily had a chance to save the money for a large down payment.
Deciding where you want to live
Whether you are choosing one area or from a few areas, check into the neighborhoods and have your agent do some research with you about them. Even if you don’t plan on having children, the quality of neighborhood schools is a big deal in the long-term value of your home, so make sure you get some information about it.
City services are also important. Not every neighborhood in Phoenix has the same access to public transportation, the sewer system, school buses, and other municipal services. Depending on your needs, checking these things out can avoid a frustrating surprise later.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Not everyone is comfortable with haggling, but for others (and maybe your seller) it’s a way of life. Fortunately, you can let your agent do some of the dirty work here. Don’t be afraid to push for a better deal, as most things in real estate are negotiable.
Ask for information
Your realtor, mortgage lender, home inspector, and other professionals there to help you. Letting people know you are a first-time buyer can help them know that you might need additional information and asking questions about issues that you are unsure about is always okay. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t understand some aspect of the transaction.
You’ll always remember your first home purchase. Have fun looking at what’s out there. You’ll see some funny things at homes you go and look at. It can be a great experience if you are prepared and therefore not worried about making a mistake. Home ownership is an exhilarating prospect, so be sure to get the most out of it.
If you are ready to become a first-time homebuyer in the Phoenix area, we would obviously love to help you in that process. Please give us a call or reach out through our website if you are looking for an agent. We would love to earn your business.