Buying your first home is a big step and can be a formidable task if you try to do it on your own. A little pre-planning with the help of our first time home buyer guide are steps in the right direction. At Minnetonka Realty our agents use a few proven strategies to make the entire process less stressful and to insure that you’re happy with the outcome.
The first question to ask yourself is, “Is now the correct time to buy my first home?” Don’t buy a home because of the low mortgage rates or because it’s a buyer’s market, etc. Buy a home because you are financially ready, you want to be a homeowner and that you need a place to live for the next 5 or so years.
Now that you have made the decision to buy your first home, your next steps are as follows:
What are your Housing Needs for Your Lifestyle?
How do you spend your time at home? Do you love being outdoors? Do you enjoy gardening? Do you see yourself entertaining friends on your deck? Or would you rather curl up with a glass of wine by the fireplace and read a good book? Your lifestyle will dictate the type of housing that best fits your needs. A condo, Townhouse and a single family home all have their unique benefits but one may suit you better than the other. Write down a list of features that are your Must Haves, Should Haves and Could Haves and use your findings as a checklist when you you tour properties.
Figure out a Housing Budget.
How much can you afford? You will need a steady job, good credit and a sizeable down payment to qualify for a mortgage. Your real estate agent will help you with the details but you will need to figure out what you’re comfortable with for a monthly payment budget along with how much of a down payment you can afford. A planned budget will guide you to how much home you can afford and help with your decision making when viewing properties.
Find an Experienced, Knowledgeable Realtor.
This is a very important step as your Realtor will be working in your best interest and the sellers Realtor will be working in the best interests of the seller. The Realtor/Real Estate Agent you choose needs to know what’s going on in the local real estate market and they should have experience buying and selling in the areas you have an interest in. Your real estate agent should understand the art of negotiation and be tech-savvy as this will give you the upper hand in today’s fast paced real estate market. Uncle Joe may not be the best choice here…
Your real estate agent will help you with a few lenders that they have worked with in the past. Talk to your bank and a mortgage company or two. Tell each lender that you are shopping for a mortgage and would like a Loan Estimate of closing costs. Ask them not to pull a credit report on you just yet as pulling a credit report will be a hard hit on your credit and could possibly lower your “credit Score” which in turn could increase your mortgage interest rate.
Tour Some Properties.
This is where the fun starts and all your hard work with the 4 steps above really pays off! Your Minnetonka Real Estate Agent will put together a list of homes to tour using your needs and guidelines to help find you the perfect first home.
Ready to start your house hunt? Have a question on the process? Give us a call or text and we will reply back within minutes during business hours or the following morning if after business hours.