How to Navigate the Market as a First-Time Homebuyer
If you are in the market trying to buy your first home, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
First of all, make sure that you have some professional help. Hire a Realtor to guide you through the process. Buying a home is a long process involving a lot of money; your agent will help you avoid mistakes.
You should also make sure to check out the neighborhood. We recently sold a home and, although we did check to make sure the buyer qualified for the home, we did not run a background check or anything like that. Now that the deal has closed, the seller’s been getting calls from their old neighbors because the buyer turned out to be a bit of a character. The neighbors are worried about their home values going down because of the buyer.
As a buyer, it’s important to drive through the neighborhood at night and on the weekends to get a real feel for what it would be like to live there. If you don’t, it can be a little scary.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to buy the first home you see. In fact, you really shouldn’t. Instead, look at several houses. You can do a lot of research online, but it’s important to listen to a professional real estate agent. Take their advice seriously. If you’re buying your first home, it’s not likely that the home will be your last. Buying a home is an investment, and you don’t want to end up upside down overnight.
"Don’t just buy the first home that you see."
Once you do make an offer on a home, make sure that you get a professional home inspection. In the state of Utah, home inspectors don’t need any special kind of licensing. Anyone can get a business card and say they are an inspector.
So, make sure that your inspector has education, experience, credentials, and insurance. You can also order additional inspections, like termite inspections or radon tests. It’s important that you buy a home with your eyes wide open so you know what you’re getting into.
Remember to purchase a home based on your needs, not just your wants. You can’t just buy the house that your parents have. They saved up and built equity over time to get where they are. Get what you need, not just what you want.
Finally, although a large down payment can help you buy a home, it’s not required. In fact, you can use a Utah housing program, rural housing program, or VA loan to purchase a home with 0% down.
If you are a first-time homebuyer, just give me a call or send me an email if you have any other questions. I would be happy to help you!