- Research. Coldwell Banker’s Home Price Comparison Index and RealtyTimes’ Market Conditions are great resources for learning about current and local housing market trends.
- Know your credit score. It is usually the case that, as a first time homebuyer, you will need to take out a loan to pay for your new home. If you don’t have a high credit score (750+), you may not be able to be approved for a home loan. You can find out your credit score for free by going to AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Ask for help when you need it. Unless you’ve been trained and certified in real estate, chances are you’re going to need to hire a local real estate agent. Additionally, you will need a home inspector, and a mortgage broker, just to name a few. These people are all experts in their field and can help you find the perfect home for the perfect price-if you let them.
- Make compromises. Some things we need, like running water and solid flooring, and some things we want, like Jacuzzi tubs and 8 fireplaces. It is important to separate your wants from your needs so that you can stick to your budget.
- Buy the first house you see. This is a great time to be a buyer right now, as there are thousands of houses out there with “FOR SALE” signs on the lawn. Buying a home is a big investment and it will affect the rest of your life, so take your time in searching and settling.
- Let lenders trick you into thinking you’re richer than you are. It is your responsibility to know how much you can afford for a monthly mortgage payment. Keep in mind that you need to take into account any existing car payments, college loans, down payments, cable bills, etc. that you will also have to pay. Choose a home and a price that lets you live comfortably, rather than paycheck to paycheck.
- Sign the papers if you’re unclear on the conditions. Just as you need to research the housing market, you also need to research loans and mortgages. Take your time and find one that works best for you and your lifestyle, and find someone to help you understand every part of the loan.
The information in this blog was paraphrased from: http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20080416_firsttimebuy.htm