5 Tips for First-time Homebuyers!
Updated: Apr 23
Are you thinking about buying your first home? Check out these 5 tips to help make the home buying experience easy!
Tip #1 Work with a Real Estate Agent
As a buyer, you should hire a real estate agent to help guide you through the entire process of buying a home. There are several reasons why you should hire a buyer's agent to represent you, but most importantly, they have all the tools to help you see the most homes. Also, it's FREE! The commission for buyer's agents in Massachusetts is paid by sellers.
Tip #2 Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Many of you first-time homebuyers will need to get a mortgage in order to pay for your home. Before you start the home buying process, you should get a pre-approval for a mortgage, which requires you submit a number of documents to prove your wealth, income, and ability to pay off your debts. The pre-approval is a written document from a lender that states they will give you a certain amount of money for the purchase of a home. Obviously, you will need to find a home and provide more information to get the loan, but a pre-approval shows you are a capable buyer to sellers of homes. Also, it shows you and your agent how much you can afford, so you do not waste time looking at home you could never buy.
Tip #3 Decide What you Want, but Be Realistic
First, decide what you want in a home. Think about the style, the town, the neighborhood, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and anything extra like a pool or garage. Decide what you want!
However, you must be realistic! Of course, all of us want a mansion with 8 bedrooms,10 baths, and a bowling alley, but that is not realistic for most of us. You need to decide what you absolutely must have and weigh it against what you can afford. If you can only afford a 3 bedroom with 1 bath cape, then that's what you should be looking to buy. It is a waste of time and energy for you and your agent to look at homes you cannot afford. So, make a list of must-haves and wants. Get the must-haves and be happy with any wants. You will be much happier with your home if you understand this from the outset.
Tip #4 Research Towns and Neighborhoods
Once you have decided on the towns or neighborhoods you would like to live in, start to research each of them. You should look into the schools, financial management, crime, commerce, and commute in the towns you would like to live in. You should drive by certain neighborhoods at different times of day to checkout traffic and overall atmosphere. You should talk to people who live in the town to gather any more information. It is always best to be informed about where you are moving, so learn as much as you can!
Tip #5 Get an Inspection
Once you have found a home and had an offer accepted, you should absolutely have an inspection! Every buyer has the right to have an inspection, but it is not mandatory, However, every buyer should ABSOLUTELY get an inspection. Your buyer's agent will have recommendations for inspectors to work with. They will complete a several hour, thorough inspection of almost every aspect of the home you would like to buy including the: HVAC system, electrical system, foundation, windows, roof (from afar), appliances, siding, and overall aesthetic. They will type up an extensive, multi-page report detailing grades for everything they have inspected. They will make recommendations for work to be done. However, inspectors are not experts in one individual field, so you may have to hire contractors to inspect certain areas further. For instance, if an electrical issue is noted, you should hire an electrician to take an extra look. Inspections cost several hundred dollars, but are worth every penny because they will save you thousands or more down the line.
Tim Walsh, REALTOR® is a licensed (#9557151) Massachusetts real estate agent with Century 21 The Real Estate Group. Tim primarily works in Central Massachusetts including the following towns: Milford, Hopedale, Mendon, Upton, Medway, Bellingham, Hopkinton, Holliston, Franklin, Uxbridge, Northbridge, and Blackstone. If you have any questions or need help buying, selling, or investing in real estate, call (508-494-9634) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) Tim today!