Buying Your First Home? Here’s What You Need to Know // Midwestern Realty Group

Tips for Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home is an exciting milestone in life. It’s a significant decision that requires careful planning and consideration. But even with careful planning, this can be one of the most anxiety-inducing milestones in your life as well.

At Midwestern Realty Group, we understand the importance of finding the perfect home that suits your needs and budget. We understand how much investment, time, and concern can go into the home-buying process. That’s why our agents go the extra mile, providing comprehensive services and advice to make searching for and closing a deal on a home as smooth as possible.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with valuable tips to navigate the home-buying process smoothly. We’re here to help all first-time home buyers on their journeys. If you’re just starting, make sure to keep these things in mind.

Woman getting the key after buying her first home

Consider What You Need Both Now and Later

Before starting your home search, it’s essential to consider your present and future needs. What seems like a dream home now might not fit your situation in the future.

Think about factors like the size of your family, lifestyle preferences, and long-term goals. Do you have any hobbies or ambitions you may want to pursue at home? Do you expect your career to keep you in or around your search area? If you have doubts or concerns about whether a property you’re considering will fit your needs in the years to come, those are valid concerns that are well worth discussing.

Where Do You Want to Live?

Deciding on the location is crucial. Determine if you prefer the vibrant energy of a big city or the close-knit community of a small town. Research the local amenities, schools, transportation options, and proximity to your workplace to find a location that suits your lifestyle.

What Type of House Do You Want?

Consider the type of house that aligns with your preferences. Do you desire a single-family home, a townhouse, or a condominium? Each option offers unique benefits and considerations, so it’s important to weigh them based on your lifestyle and future plans.

Do You Want a Backyard?

Think about whether having a backyard is important to you. A backyard can provide additional space for relaxation, gardening, and outdoor activities. However, it also requires maintenance and upkeep, so assess your willingness to dedicate time and effort to outdoor spaces.

How Much Are You Willing to Spend?

Determine your budget by evaluating your financial situation. Consider your income, savings, and monthly expenses. Aim for a comfortable monthly mortgage payment that allows you to maintain your desired lifestyle while saving for the future.

What Bank Should You Get Your Mortgage From?

Research different mortgage lenders to find the one that offers favorable interest rates, flexible terms, and excellent customer service. Compare loan programs, including FHA, VA, and conventional mortgages, to choose the one that suits your financial situation and goals.

Assistance Programs Can Help

If you are a first-time homebuyer, there is a good chance you qualify for one or more state or federal programs that can provide significant aid toward affording your goal. Make sure to explore all available assistance programs for first-time homebuyers in the area you wish to buy in.

These programs offer down payment assistance, reduced interest rates, or grants, making homeownership more accessible. Research local and national programs to see if you qualify for any assistance. We can help you determine what eligible programs and aid measures you may qualify for, and how you can make the most of them.

Family happy after buying their first home

You Should Start Saving as Early as Possible

Saving for homeownership is crucial to cover various costs associated with buying a home. Your budget for buying a home must consider multiple factors. Up-front costs to consider include:

  • The Down Payment: This amount will vary depending on the overall price of the home, the type of financing you choose, amongst other factors. Aim for a down payment of 20% or more if you can to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) and secure better loan terms.
  • Closing Costs: Plan for additional costs, such as appraisal fees, title insurance, and attorney fees, which typically range from 2% to 5% of the home’s purchase price. Both the buyer and seller usually cover various closing costs, but who covers what can be negotiated.
  • After-Sale Costs: Remember to budget for moving expenses, potential renovations, and home maintenance costs after purchasing the property. There are also extraneous costs such as homeowners association fees and the costs of pool or landscaping maintenance to consider as well.

You should not only have a reasonable amount of money set aside to cover up-front costs of home buying but also up to 6 months of standard living expenses, in case of emergency. Many lenders will require proof of these savings.

Even before you know what you want, start setting money aside month to month. We can help you determine what savings goals you should be aiming for based on your area and general needs.

Prove You’re Prepared to Buy

Saving up is one part of the process, but you must also know how much a lender is willing to provide you. Make sure to obtain a pre-approval letter from your chosen mortgage lender. This demonstrates to sellers that you are a serious buyer and increases your chances of securing your dream home. It also provides a clear understanding of your budget and streamlines the home-buying process.

The amount a lender will pre-approve you for will largely depend on your credit, employment, and other factors. The amounts different lenders may pre-approve you for can vary, so do not hesitate to shop around for the best offers. You do not have to be stuck with one institution.

Invest in a Thorough Home Inspection

If you find yourself getting more serious about potentially buying a home, you should get it thoroughly inspected. Hire a professional home inspector to evaluate the property’s condition before finalizing the purchase.

A comprehensive inspection can uncover potential issues, allowing you to make an informed decision and negotiate repairs or price adjustments, if necessary. There will likely be a few things that may need improvement or repairs within a home that has seen a substantial period of use. That’s normal and shouldn’t automatically be a dealbreaker.

Get a Trusted Realtor on Your Side

We have only just scratched the surface here on what you should know and expect when going into buying your first home. Yes, it’s a lot – but you never have to go at it alone!

Enlisting the help of a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent is invaluable when buying your first home. A skilled realtor can guide you through the entire process, help you navigate negotiations, and ensure you make well-informed decisions. Contact Midwestern Realty Group today to get expert assistance tailored to your needs.

Purchasing your first home is an exciting adventure. By considering your needs, saving diligently, and working with trusted professionals, you can make the process smoother and more rewarding. Remember, at Midwestern Realty Group, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Call us today, and let us help you find your dream home.