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First Time Buyer Checklist

The Ultimate Guide to Navigating the First-Time Home Buying Process

Buying a home for the first time can be intimidating and at times overwhelming. There’s so much to consider – from determining how much house you can afford to finding a realtor, making an offer, hiring a home inspector and closing on the deal.

But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with this guide for first-time homebuyers. #AskJudd

Morgan receiving her keys after closing on her very first home!

Determine Your Budget

The first step in buying a home is determining your budget. A good rule of thumb is to keep monthly mortgage payments below 28% of your gross monthly income. You can use a mortgage to determine how much house you can afford based on your income, expenses, credit score and down payment.

Find a Real Estate Agent

Once you know your budget, finding the right real estate is the next step. Look for an agent who has experience working with first-time homebuyers, who understands your priorities and can guide you through the home buying process. Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family can be a good starting point, but don’t hesitate to interview multiple agents to the best fit.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an essential step before starting to look at homes. Pre-approval determines how much the lender is willing to lend to you and gives you more buying power. It also helps the home buying process move faster and smoother. Keep in mind that pre-approval doesn’t guarantee final loan approval.

Make Wish List

Before you start looking at homes, make a wish list of your preferences and what’s important to you. Consider things like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, the size of the home, and the community amenities. Having a clear picture of what you are looking for in a home will help narrow down your search and make your time more efficient.

Tour Homes

Now that have your wish list, it’s time to start touring homes. Keep an open mind, but also stay focused on your top priorities. It’s important to take your time and not rush into decision as this is a major investment. Make sure to ask your real estate agent to point out the pros and cons of each property.

Make an Offer

Once you’ve found the home your dreams, it’s time to make an offer. Your real estate agent will work with you determine a fair offer price based on comparable homes in the area. The seller can accept, decline, or make a counter-offer, and negotiations can take several rounds before the final price and terms are agreed upon.

Hire a Home Inspector

Once your offer is accepted, it’s important hire a home inspector to evaluate the condition of the property. The inspector will point out any issues or potential issues, and prepare a detailed report of their findings. This report can be used to negotiate the price or ask for repairs, or it can help you decide to walk away from deal.

Secure Financing

With the help of your real estate agent and mortgage lender, you can finalize the mortgage loan application and submit all required documents needed for final approval.

Close the Deal

The final step in purchasing your home is closing the deal and signing the papers. This typically involves legal documents with your lender and title company, transferring funds and getting the keys to your new home.

Checklist for First-Time Homebuyers:

• Determine your budget

• Find a real estate agent

• Get pre-approved for a mortgage

• Make a wish list

• Tour homes

• Make an offer

• Hire a home inspector

• Secure financing

• Close the Deal

Buying a home for the first time can be a complex and stressful process, but following steps can simplify the process and make it less intimidating. With careful planning and a clear understanding of what’s involved, you too can achieve your dream of homeownership.

For further guidance let’s connect and you can #AskJudd!


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