Advice for the First-Time Homebuyer

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Real Estate

For anyone, buying a home can be a FUN new ADVENTURE or a big ball of stress.  It all depends on the way you look at it and prepare!  One way to ensure you have the best experience you can is to make sure you are working with Professionals in the field of Real Estate.  


You first want to find a Real Estate Professional to help guide you through the process.  It doesn’t matter how early in the process you are, talking with a professional can always help. Never think of yourself as wasting anyone’s time; it’s important for you to educate yourself on the home buying process and a true professional will always make time for people who are sincere in their efforts of wanting to learn.    


One benefit Buyers often sell themselves short on is the utilization of a Real Estate Agent, simply because they don’t understand how they work. Purchasing a home will be one of the BIGGEST investments you’ll ever make in your life, so don’t go in blindfolded just hoping for the best.  Partner with a Real Estate Professional you feel comfortable with and who will do everything they can to help make sure your home buying process goes as smoothly and is stress-free as possible. If you’re worried about paying realtor commissions on top of buying a new home, let me put that thought to rest by telling you it’s the Seller who pays commission.  It’s one of the greatest benefits to you as a buyer!  

A great real estate agent will be able to help you with some obvious things like making appointments to see homes and writing your offer. However, in addition, they will also be able to help point you in the right direction of other great professionals you may need throughout the home buying process such as lenders, home inspectors, termite inspectors, title companies, contractors, handymen, plumbers, roofers, etc.  They’ll also be there for you during home inspections, negotiations of the contract, repairs and extensions, and help you stay on track with deadlines, answer your questions and concerns, help assist you in getting repair quotes, arrange to have repairs done, get documents sent off to lenders and title companies, attend your final walk-through and closing, and so much more!  


Secondly, before you fall in love with your dream home, it’s very important to make sure you’re able to buy the house you’ve fallen in love with.  Falling in love with a home you can’t afford is something I would never wish on a buyer.  In addition, a Seller is going to want to know that you qualify to buy their house and are able to make an offer.  That is why I ALWAYS recommend a buyer speak with a Lender/Loan Officer to get a pre-approval first.  Again, this is where a Real Estate Agent will greatly benefit you as they have first-hand knowledge and experience of working with both good and bad lenders.


A Great Lender is going to have a conversation with you about the loan process and how it works. They will talk with you and evaluate your overall financial situation including income, savings, investments, debts, credit score, taxes, and other factors that will help to determine what you can afford.  In the end, the goal would be to provide you with a Pre-Approval letter to help assist your Real Estate Agent to do their job better, which includes showing you homes within your price range and writing well prepared offers to seller’s on your behalf.  

Additionally, a Lender is going to be reachable, available, honest, and upfront with you.  If your credit score is low or if your debt-to-income ratios are off, they will let you know, and they will help guide you as to how you can make improvements to your situation if you don’t qualify just yet.  Receiving a denial on a loan can be a big letdown, but if you have a great lender they will give you a plan that will continue to breathe life into your dream of owning a home one day.  


Remember - buying a home can be a fun new adventure or a big ball of stress, sometimes a bit of both, but how you look at it and prepare is up to you.  Don’t shortchange yourself by going through the process alone when there are great professionals out there willing to help!  

Please feel free to reach out to the Vanessa Leonard Group if you’d like to get the home buying process started.  It would be our pleasure to share in this great adventure with you!


Laurie Finger, Real Estate Consultant, Vanessa Leonard Group