Set Your Expectations
1. Set the correct expectations. Take out a blank piece of paper and write out your wish list.
– Dulce Monahan
2. There is no such thing as the perfect home, but there is a home that is perfect for you.
– Sheena Weatherly
3. Make sure you know what you want before starting the buying process.
– Ashly Haley
4. Be prepared! Have a list of your “wants” created, and all your financial documents lined up with the lender so you know how much buying power you really have.
– Stacey Rider
5. Be patient and realistic when looking for your first home. It is important to find a home within your financial position at the time of purchase. Remember, your first home most likely won’t be your last.
– Kyle Seyboth
How Much Can You Afford?
6. Have a budget. It may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many first-time home buyers don’t know how much money they have to spend on their new house.
– Walter Black
7. Figure out your personal budget to determine how much you can truly afford, then get pre-qualified and compare the amounts. Use the lowest of the two.
– Jorge Fernandez
8. Purchase a home that you can afford.
– Reynalda Chavez
9. Keep your mortgage within your budget and find a neighborhood that has amenities that will fit your needs.
– Daniel Sompolski
10. Protect yourself: Get pre-qualified for a mortgage so you don’t spend more than you can afford for a home.
– Anthony Leone
Consider if It Is Better to Rent or Own
11. Don’t forget that rent is a variable,; it will likely be much higher five years from now.
– Daniel Locascio
12. The real estate market has made it cheaper to own than rent.
– Darryl Williams
13. Know the trade offs of renting verses owning.
– Ajay Jagga
14. When considering your price point, start with the amount of rent you are paying now, not necessarily what the bank/mortgage company says they will loan you.
– Debra Grog
Educate Yourself on Local Market Conditions
15. Interest rates are still low.
– Tatiana Guila
16. Buyers have to be aware of market conditions.
– Margoth Sinclair
17. You will probably move in the next seven years, so make sure to think about resale value in the near future.
– Barry Krupp
18. The market hit its bottom last year. So far, this year’s prices are up by about 10 percent since last year’s and home values are continuing to increase.
– Martin Miller
19. The market is shifting, so you have to be aggressive with your home search because properties are selling quicker with multiple offers.
– Alice Green
Learn about the Buying Process
20. Do not get too emotional about the house until escrow is closed. Things can go wrong during the offer submitted through close of escrow.
– Wenny Gunawan
21. Do your homework!
– Cheryl Melomet
22. Don’t get hung up on price. The question should be: Does this purchase improve your living?
– Bill Miller
How to Choose the Right Home
23. Choose the property according to your needs.
– Nefer Londono
24. The most important thing when buying a home is location, location, location!
– Jeffrey Fairchild
25. Love what you buy.
– Anita Zubov
26. When you feel the feeling of finding your dream, act quickly.
– Jay Talenda
27. Take the time to search for a home that suits you and meets your personal/financial needs.
– Carlos Armas
28. Buy the “most house” that you can comfortably buy, and, even perhaps, push yourself to the limit of your pre-approved amount. Thus, you will be satisfied with your purchase for a longer period of time.
– Charles Lipford
Find Out How Much Financing You’re Eligible For
29. Do not look for a home for the amount you are qualified to buy with your mortgage agent. Ask him to tell you how much you can buy based on the mortgage amount you are comfortable paying every month.
– Charles Miltenberger
30. Have a good conversation with a loan officer or mortgage broker to check all the options regarding financing.
– Ximena Alzate
31. It’s essential to get pre-approved for a loan.
– Laurie Shapiro
32. Know your finances and speak to a lender first.
– Sheryl Dicarlo
33. There are a lot of opportunities out there for financing, no matter your credit score.
– Ronnie Sanchez
Why You Should Get Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved
34. Have a buyers’ agent and a qualification letter from a mortgage company or bank. It’s very disappointing to see a home you can not afford and waste time, energy, and emotions.
– Lucretia Lehrmann
35. Speak with a mortgage person to understand what you can afford. You will be so disappointed if you fall in love with a home outside of your price range.
– Kay Parker
36. Get pre-qualified so that you know your buying power and limitations. Also don’t expect perfection out of your first home purchase.
– Cathy Allan
37. Get pre-approval before your search for property. Due to the low inventory, it’s necessary to submit a pre-approval with an offer, and without it, you can possibly lose out on a sale.
– Patricia Moccia
38. Be pre-approved. Having an approval in hand gets a buyer to the front of the line in making offers.
– Christina Jasso
39. Use a trusted mortgage partner for pre-qualification before you start looking for a home. You may be looking in the wrong price range and wasting your time.
– Javier Zapien
Are There Any Incentives Available to You?
40. Know any state-level financing incentives or regulations.
– George Stapleton
41. Learn about downpayment incentives.
– Andres Buitrago
42. Get pre-qualified by a mortgage company prior to begin searching for a home and see what special programs are offered to first-time home buyers.
– Mary Ellis
43. Thoroughly talk with a lender about your pre-approval process and programs available to you through grants and state bonds.
– Paulette Korr
Make Sure You Know about all the Expenses of Owning
44. Remember that besides the mortgage payment you will also pay for your home insurance and the property taxes.
– Ann and Robert Gephart
45. Get educated on downpayment, closing cost, and what your new home payment will be.
– Adam Robbins
46. Create a list of pros and cons associated with home ownership. Pros will include income tax deductions, building equity, etc. The cons include fears and disadvantages of home ownership—which will most likely include maintenance responsibilities etc. These lists will help you reaffirm your decisions and will help put your fears into perspective.
– Noreleen De Mesa
How To Choose a Real Estate Agent
47. Ask to see past references.
– Kathy Worthen
48. Choose an agent based on their knowledge, experience, and work ethic. Then allow them to guide you.
– Nick Boland
49. Set a face-to-face meeting with your Realtor to discuss the home buying process.
– Mark Dimas
50. Ask your friends and co-workers for recommendations for great local lenders and Realtors.
– Helen Hunt
What Real Estate Agents Do
51. Hire a real estate agent who understands your concerns and educates you. Ask this agent questions throughout the process so that you better understand the entire process.
– Carol Manning
52. Make sure you find an agent that educates you thoroughly about the buying process and the market, and that they then empower you to make educated decisions.
– Jim Holt
53. Get a Realtor that explains the process and walks you through every facet of the buying process. This is critical to avoid costly mistakes.
– Luis Rocafort
54. Make sure you like your Realtor and mortgage broker. We are here to help you find what they are looking for and hold your hand in the entire process.
– Mardjan Barimani
Qualities of a Great Real Estate Agent
55. Work with a Realtor and be sure that Realtor represents your interests, not the Seller.
– Marty Martinez
56. Make certain that you have a buyer’s agent to represent your best interests.
– Cynthia McKenna
57. Make sure that whoever you are working with is someone you can trust and that will put your interests in front of their own. If they care enough, they will ask you lots of questions!
– Steven Pagano
58. Be absolutely certain that you align with the right real estate broker and loan officer. A good real estate team will help a buyer purchase a home that fits well within their budget.
– Randy Schulenburg
59. All Realtors are not created equally and should hire a professional, competent and knowledgeable Realtor that can explain the process.
– Alexander Vazquez
60. Work with an agent close to or within your market area, as their experience on local market trends is invaluable. Also ensure that their agent is a full-time agent.
– Alfred Saiz
Benefits of a Real Estate Agent
61. A good Realtor can help you navigate the process while providing you expert guidance and advice.
– Zilkia Martins
62. Markets vary from one another and a good agent can give you local information based on experience.
– Fredy Gonzalez
63. Work with an experienced Realtor in the immediate area. Out of area Realtors do not know the immediate market therefore cannot always provide detailed information about neighborhoods and market conditions.
– Sue Enos
64. Find a Realtor that truly understands property values where you are shopping. They can assist you in establishing your offer price.
– David Berganski
This article was first posted at the Movoto blog. Republished with permission from Movoto Real Estate