House Shopping Tips for First Time Home Buyers

House Shopping Tips for First Time Home Buyers

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house shoppingBuying a new home can be exciting and just a bit overwhelming. How can you possibly find the right home that fits your needs and your wants? Here are some house shopping tips that will do just that.

Hire the Right Buyer’s Agent

It’s essential that you find a real estate agent you get along with well. You’ll be working them closely. The right buyer’s agent should be:

  • Highly skilled
  • Motivated
  • Knowledgeable about the area

Pick the Right Type of House

You may be thinking about buying a single-family home. You probably think you want a big yard or a lot of room. When house shopping, you do have other options. A condo or townhouse could be a better fit for you if you don’t mind paying a homeowners association fee. You would sacrifice some space for less maintenance and extra amenities.

Pick the Right Neighborhood

Even if the home is perfect for you, the neighborhood could be completely wrong. When housing shopping, be sure to:

  • Research any nearby schools, even if you don’t have children as these can affect home values.
  • Look at the local safety and crime statistics.
  • Find out where the nearest hospital, pharmacy, grocery store, and other amenities you’ll use are located.
  • Drive through the neighborhood on various days and times to check the traffic, noise, and activity levels.

Stick to Your Budget

Be sure to look at properties that cost less than the loan you were approved for. Although you can technically afford your preapproval amount, it’s the highest you can go. It doesn’t take in other monthly expenses or problems, like a broken dishwasher, that happen during homeownership. House shopping with a strict budget in mind will also help when you go to make an offer.

It’s likely you’ll bid on houses that get multiple offers in the current competitive real estate market with limited inventory. It will be tempting to make a high-priced offer that’s sure to win when you find a home you love. Don’t let your emotions take over. Shopping below your preapproval amount will create some wiggle room for placing bids. Stick to your budget to avoid ending up with a mortgage payment you can’t afford.

Make the Most of Open Houses

Pay close attention to the home’s overall condition when you’re touring homes during open houses. Be aware of any:

  • Smells
  • Stains
  • Items in disrepair

Ask plenty of questions about the house, for example

  • When it was built
  • When items were last replaced
  • How old the air conditioning and the heating are

Don’t hesitate to schedule a second or third visit if other potential buyers are viewing the home at the same time as you. That would be a good time to get a closer look at anything and ask questions privately.

As real estate agents, we have a lot of experience with helping our customers buy and sell homes. We’d love to do the same for you. Give us a call and see how we can help you as you beginning house shopping for your first home.

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