First Time Home Buying Tips
For the past 5 months, I’ve been addicted to Zillow, Trulia and Realtor websites trying to find the PERFECT home with my LIMITED budget and EXPENSIVE taste. It’s as stressful as you’d imagine but will ultimately be extremely rewarding in the end. Nevertheless, let me keep it 100 with my fellow home buyers.
1. You started looking a day too late. Trust me! Everything I thought I loved was Pending Sale by the time I finally scrolled down to it.
2. Ask questions!! Realtors want commission. Some of them will sell you anything just so they can hurry up and get their check. So make them work for that 3% (or whatever their percentage may be)!
3. Get a pre-approval letter. Nothing is worse than having caviar taste on a fish stick budget. A pre-approval letter lets you know what you can and canNOT afford. Save time and gas by getting this out of the way as soon as you can.
4. The first place you see that you do like, DON’T BUY IT. That can be confusing, so let me explain. You’ve been so discouraged, you’re no longer excited. You’re instead frustrated and ready to get this home buying stuff over with. So although you do like it, you don’t love it, which is why you should just wait.
5. Raise your budget about $10k if not more. WHAT?? WHY?? I know people want to stick to a specific budget, but there’s this thing called COMPS. Comps =Comparable sales. Anything sold in the last 90 days will be reviewed by the appraiser. That helps because if your budget it $170k and you like the house that’s listed for $200,000 yet a similar unit sold 30 days before for $167k, then you’re good to go for some serious negotiations.
6. Validate HOA. I’m buying a condo, and a concern my dad had was expensive HOAs. I’ve seen as low as $181 and as high as $500. What I’ve noticed though is just because the HOA is ridiculously high doesn’t mean it includes all utilities. Location! Location! Location is what they say. Your $500 HOA fee can literally include NONE of your bills. So make sure to factor that in when you’re doing your home buying.
7. They NEVER tell you everything. I’m not sure why they don’t start off conversations with, “Hi. There are first time home buyers grants! Let’s see if you qualify.” LoSERS. But now you know!! And as SOON as you sign up for a pre-approval, that needs to be your first conversation with your lender.
8. Don’t be scared to bargain. Depending on how long the property has been up for sale, the seller may be extremely motivated. I mean drop the price $80k, leave the furniture and the appliances type motivated. If you want the washer and dryer and the refrigerator, ask for it. The worst that could happen is they say no.
Last, but not least.
9. Don’t get excited until the keys are in hand! There are so many loops and hoops to go through, and just when you think all is well the seller doesn’t want to sell anymore or the underwriter has decided not to actually give you the green light on your mortgage loan. If you don’t listen to anything else I say, hear me now IT’S NOT REAL UNTIL YOU’RE MOVING IN THE FURNITURE!
Happy House Hunting!