Buying your first home can be an overwhelming and daunting process– if you don’t have the right ally by your side.
Given my age, I have focused my buyer-side business on first-time buyers. Not only are millennials finally buying their first homes, but the opportunity to educate and become a true resource for them is extremely rewarding.
So, what should you be doing as you prepare to purchase your first home? Where should be looking? What’s important to you?
As early as 12-18 months out, you should talk to a mortgage lender to get a snapshot of your financial viability. Based on your income, your credit, and your cash at hand, you’ll have a good idea of not only what you can afford, but what you can do to improve your standing prior to purchasing. Most lenders are great at advising what you can do to build a credit score quickly, and advising where you can build your savings to get as competitive a down payment as possible.
If you’re past that point (you certainly may be in position to buy), you need to sit down with me ASAP. What I will do in an initial consultation is get an idea for your comfortable price range, your needs, your wants (there is a difference between what you need and what you want), and how I can best serve you. We’ll go through the Working with Real Estate Agents document so you understand my role, and we’ll get an initial search of homes that fit your parameters.
Before showing homes, we will get you set up with a preapproval from a mortgage lender so we are ready to jump on the perfect home. The buyers you see me pictured with above, Rich and Sarah, came to our first showings prepared, and fell in love with the second home they saw late on a Friday afternoon. Because we were prepared to make an offer, we submitted a winning offer and beat out multiple other buyers and an open house scheduled for the next day to get them in their home– under contract that night.
An offer will come with the following terms:
- Purchase price: how much you’re going to pay for the property;
- Earnest money and due diligence: these will come from you immediately, but will be credited towards your down-payment;
- Financing terms: are you a cash buyer? If not, we need to disclose what type of loan program you’ll be pursuing;
- Due diligence date: how long do we need to get you approved? A shorter period will be viewed more favorably by sellers, but we need to make sure you’ll have time to get everything in order;
- Seller-paid closing costs: do you want the seller to cover some of your expenses? Probably. Note that every dollar you ask for is a dollar out of the seller’s net– so a $300,000 offer with $5,000 in closing costs will be viewed as a $295,000 offer;
- Closing date: we go to the table and get you your new home!
You’ll have questions, and I’ll have answers. Once under contract, you’re going to work more closely with the lender of your choosing to get financing secured– but I still have plenty to do.
We’ll need to inspect the property during your due diligence period– this (and the appraisal) are your only out-of-pocket expenses once under contract. The inspection is important so as to uncover any defects that may preclude you from purchasing the home unless the seller makes fixes. Our due diligence request will ensure that these concerns are alleviated. (Said another way, we can renegotiate the terms under the due diligence period.)
Call me at 910-638-8186 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s start you down the path to home ownership!