10 Tips for a First-time Homebuyer

first-time home buyersAt Premier Funding Network we love being a part of the excitement and celebration that goes along with first-time homebuyers. As long-time mortgage brokers, we have handled every kind of mortgage loan and every kind of client. Sometimes in the process of credit checks and number crunching, important considerations are pushed aside and most attention is spent on monthly payments and dollars and cents.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help make a new home purchase a great experience.

1. Preparation is the key to a successful home purchase. Have a clear vision of the type of neighborhood and the style of house that will best suit your needs. Keep a mental wish list, but remember that no house is ever perfect and it is important to keep a degree of flexibility in your expectations.

2. Often, feelings can excite and overwhelm when a good purchase candidate is found, making a balanced assessment of the home more difficult. If possible, look at other potential homes for a day and then return to the favored property to take a second, more sober look. Be aware of the negative attributes that will come along with all of the positive ones.

3. Always try to think long-term. While some buyers are looking for short-term turnarounds, most are looking for a more permanent home. What do you want your life to be in ten years? Will there be room for raising children? Are there elderly relatives that may eventually need to move in? These are questions that are sometimes pushed aside when financial concerns demand so much attention. Make sure that the house will be able to serve as a true home.

4. Location is important. First-time homebuyers usually inquire about the quality of the surrounding schools and the ease of access to shopping and entertainment. Remember that sellers will always minimize the degree of traffic and congestion in their neighborhood. Make sure that the commute to work is within an acceptable range by visiting the area during peak traffic hours. Find out whether any large property developments are projected in the area and how they might affect existing traffic patterns and local quality-of-life.

5. If you are planning to start a family, or already have children, don’t forget to consider proximity to relatives. Grandparents appreciate an easy drive to visit their grandchildren and family members are usually the most convenient baby-sitters.

6. Before buying, consider what your true financial picture will be after making the purchase. Buyers sometimes fall in love with a particular house or neighborhood and then stretch their finances to make the purchase happen. Eventually, the sheen of the new house wears off and if the new homeowners are stretched to the point that vacations and other activities are not possible, regret can creep in. This can be avoided by establishing a comfortable dollar figure, and then living for six months on a test budget based on the chosen mortgage amount.

7. Be ready to move on a property quickly by having your financing already in place. Houses are sometimes listed and sold on the same day. Nothing is worse than losing a great property because of a delay in financing. Again, preparation is important to potential homebuyers. Your Premier Funding Network mortgage broker can have you pre-approved and ready to buy at a moment’s notice when the right home in the right place hits the market.

8. Always read and understand your contract before you sign it. A house is probably the largest purchase you will ever make, so make sure you understand the terms of your contract. Take care in choosing a realtor that will have your best interests in mind. If any documents pertaining to the sale and terms are confusing or unclear make sure that your realtor will take the time to walk you through it and answer any questions that may arise.

9. Make sure that you take advantage of every available financial tool that will strengthen your buying power when it is time to make an offer. There are many down payment assistance programs that can significantly boost buying power and we will show you how to take advantage of them. At Premier Funding Network, we are experts in exploring options that other brokers and lenders might downplay because some of them aren’t necessarily to their advantage. We want our clients to be satisfied over the long haul and the best way to achieve that is to make sure that they have the right loan.

10. Don’t hold out for the perfect house. There will always be a property somewhere that seems better. A good house in a livable neighborhood is a solid foundation for a happy life. Your long-term satisfaction as a homeowner is more dependent upon what you put into your home, than how fancy it is. The wood and glass and plaster are almost the same for any structure. The people who live inside are what make a house a home.

Call Premier Funding Network at 714 283-9900 and let’s talk about how we can help make that home a reality.