What you need to know before you purchase your first home

Are you a first-time home buyer eager to get into the market and buy your very first home? Being a land baron comes with more than just a down payment. Knowledge is key—and the more you have when it comes to buying property; the better off you’ll be.

As a property investor, I’m very familiar with all the steps associated with smart home buying, and I’d like to use this opportunity to help educate you on the first time home buying in the current economy.

Here are 5 tips that every first time home buyer needs to know.

1. Research homes in your area of buying interest

If a home catches my eye online, I’m sure to check the selling prices of comparable homes in the area to ensure the home isn’t priced too high or too low (this might be indication of hidden issues). I typically just do a quick scan of other, similar MLS listings (house age, number of bedrooms, features, etc.) in the same area and then double check this with contacts at the National Association of Realtors.

2. Set a budget and stick to it

It’s important to determine what you can afford and not to look for houses over that price range. In fact, it’s wise to meet with a financial representative to get pre-approved for a mortgage before your search begins so you can house hunt comfortably within your price range. This will ensure that you don’t get your hopes up on a house outside of your price range or seek to borrow out of reasonable limits (i.e., by taking private loans with friends, employers, or family).

3. Take advantage of learning opportunities

For instance, we offer a ton of online educational opportunities and seminars specifically focused on first time home buyers who are interested in real estate investing to help them become familiar with everything from dealing with real estate lawyers to understanding statutory warranty coverage.

4. Finding a home that suits your lifestyle

When seeking a first home you need to look past the brick and mortar to things about the home that suit your lifestyle. For instance, as far as the homes locale, do you have kids and need a home near a good school? Or do you prefer to live and work close to the downtown core? You’ll also want to consider home features that suit your lifestyle—such as a large gourmet kitchen if you like to entertain, a big back yard if you have dogs. Lifestyle is also super important when it comes to the home you buy. For example, if you don’t dig lawn maintenance, a condo would be the best option over a bungalow.

5. Always get a home inspection

I know you’ve already toured the home and love it, and I don’t care if you think you have home renovation experience. A home inspection is worth the money when it comes to ensuring the structure, electrical, water pipes, gas lines, and those other hidden elements are safe and up to code. Neglecting to get a home inspection means that you are waiving any rights you have if something goes wrong with the house after you purchase it. You’re basically leaving yourself open to all kinds of potential issues—costly issues that could have otherwise been avoided in the conditions of your purchasing agreement (i.e., such as asking the seller to re-finish a faulty flat roof as part of your agreement to purchase).

About The Author

Heather is a staff writer for Lifestyles Unlimited where she has been involved in Austin real estate investing, education and mentoring for several years. She enjoys analyzing investment trends, laws, and practices while at the same time debunking any myths she may find.

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