Around 65% of Americans are homeowners, which proves that there’s a constant flux of first-time buyers navigating the world of real estate.
Knowing what to look for is key to finding your dream home and avoiding potential disasters. But if you’re unfamiliar with real estate, it feels impossible to know what the red flags are. Maybe that’s what brought you to this post; you’re a first-time buyer and are searching for valuable tips.
Sounds like you? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five home buyer tips to know.
1. Improve Your Credit Score
The first step on your home buying checklist is checking and boosting your credit score. This plays a huge role in your ability to secure a mortgage and if it’s low, you’ll have difficulty landing the home of your dreams.
As a general rule, make sure your credit score is good for at least six months before reaching out to a lender.
2. Browse Loan Options
One of the top home buying tips is browsing loan options. Know that there are different options available, which will determine the type of home you can buy.
Conventional loans are the most popular, but you should also consider an FHA loan so you can buy a property with looser financial requirements.
3. Save for a Down Payment
Regardless of your budget, as a first-time homeowner, saving for a down payment is essential. Although the smallest amount helps, most lenders suggest saving 20% as it helps you avoid mortgage insurance on loans.
But don’t feel disheartened if this feels impossible. Speak directly to the bank, and you may need less, especially if you’re buying a smaller property.
4. Hire an Inspector
Our home buying guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the importance of inspectors. It often gets confused with an appraisal, but inspectors highlight specific problems with the home, whether there are signs of pests or water damage.
If there is a long list of problems, you can use this evidence to reduce the buyer’s asking price.
Also, if you haven’t already, a valuable home buying tip is working alongside a reputable real estate agent. These professionals will help you with an offer and negotiate with the seller’s agent.
Plus, realtors will guide you through the closing process, so you’re not bombarded with huge closing costs.
5. Budget for Home Maintenance
One of the top homeowner tips is to always budget for future maintenance. You never know when your HVAC system will break or if there’s an issue with your plumbing system.
As a general rule, create a budget that is 1% of the property’s price every year for peace of mind.
Embrace These Home Buyer Tips
Hopefully, you’ll use these home buyer tips to buy your next property.
There are hundreds of useful tips, such as hiring an inspector before sealing the deal and maintaining a good credit score. First-time buyers should also constantly budget for home maintenance and browse loan options. Good luck!
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