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Pointers for First Time Home Buyers

By Beatrice De Jong | October 11, 2018

Here are a few key things you should know to successfully navigate the process of buying a house:

Before you make an offer

  • Be selective in choosing a lender

Choosing to work with a local lender may improve your chances of getting your offer accepted. Local lenders tend to be more client focused, and can help fight on your behalf for your offer to be accepted. A seller may prefer to have their buyer work with a local lender because local lenders tend to close on schedule than larger or online financial institutions.

For buyers, there are so many benefits to opting to work with a local lender. The accessibility of being able to speak with your loan officer in-person can be beyond helpful should you find yourself in a bidding war. Local lenders will also have a better idea of how your specific market operates, which might work in your benefit.

More tips for selecting a lender can be found here

  • Don’t risk the loan

Your lender will investigate into your financial history to determine your qualifications to borrow funds. It is essential to keep your financial status the same. Avoid getting new credit cards, financing a car, or switching jobs, as well as late or missed payments on bills until after you have closed escrow.

Armed with a pre-approval letter from the lender, you are ready to start making offers!

Once your offer is accepted (yay!)

  • Stick to the timelines of the offer

It’s important to stay on top of the timelines of the offer contract. I recommend checking in with your lender daily to make sure that you are aware of any outstanding documents. As soon as your offer is accepted, you will need to prepare to send in the earnest money deposit, have your lender order an appraisal and to get a home inspection scheduled.

Keep an eye out for expensive repairs like foundation issues, termites/pests, plumbing and sewer issues or outdated electrical wiring. It is the inspector’s job to point out all of the flaws of the property, but don’t let it get you too worried, as you should expect some wear and tear on any home (unless you are purchasing a brand new construction). Any major or unexpected repairs could potentially be negotiated for repairs, credits or a price reduction from the sellers.

After escrow has closed (yay!!)

  • Budget

Once the home is all yours, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun of buying furniture, decorating and making the space all yours, but since costs can add up quickly I would recommend sticking to a tight budget. Once you’ve settled into the new home, and your new budget you will find yourself better able to plan for big purchases.

Beatrice De Jong is the Director of Residential Sales at Open Listings, where she leads the in-house team of agents focused on educating, empowering, and guiding homebuyers throughout the entire process.
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