The time has come and you are considering purchasing your first home. If you are like most Americans, this will be the biggest purchase of your life. Therefore, this is a big decision and thus requires a lot of thought and preparation. Although this may seem like an intimidating endeavor at first, it is an important step towards building your financial future. After all, on average, homeowners typically accumulate more wealth in their lifetime than those that never own a home. Below we discuss some helpful tips to consider when purchasing your first home.
Important items to consider
- Consult a mortgage broker to determine your budget (if applicable): Unless you are a cash buyer, you will likely need to obtain a mortgage in order to purchase your first home. Therefore, it is highly advisable to consult a mortgage broker first in order to determine what amount you may be pre-qualified or pre-approved for.
- Explore various areas to determine which neighborhoods interest you: Chances are you may already have a good idea of various areas and neighborhoods that appeal to you. With this said, it is always advisable to visit these areas during the evenings and on the weekends. These times of the week are when typically more people are home and therefore you get a better view of the neighborhood. For example, you may have young children and would like for the neighborhood to have other similarly aged children as well. In South Florida, we recommend exploring neighborhoods with the Florida Home Search App: https://bk.homestack.com/floridahomesearch?aik=nmoore
- Consult with your real estate agent to make him/her aware of your areas of interest: In order to streamline your search, the more search criteria information you can provide to your real estate agent, the better. In doing so, your real estate agent should be able to run listing reports to identify potential properties based on your budget and search criteria.
- Determine essential items for your search: There are various search criteria items that should be essential. For example, you may need 3 bedrooms based on the size of your family. In addition, perhaps you or your spouse work from home as well. In this case, you would also require a home office or a spare bedroom that can be converted to an office.
- School zones matter: Whether you already have children, are planning on having children, or will never have children, it is important to remember the importance of good school zones. Even though this is your first home purchase, it is quite possible that you will end up either selling or renting out this property in the future. It is well established that homes in good school zones tend to sell or rent faster and for higher prices.
- Analyze your financing options: Not all mortgages are created equal. In addition, as a first-time home buyer there are additional loan programs that you may be able to take advantage of. It is highly recommended to review all of your options prior to making a decision.
Buying your first home can seem intimidating, however it shouldn’t be. In addition to ensuring that your finances are in order and you have established a realistic budget, it is critical that you have a team that consists of a local and knowledgeable real estate agent, a knowledgeable mortgage broker, & a trusted real estate attorney. As a rule of thumb, you can never save too much money when preparing to buy your first home. Simply put, there will always be additional expenses that you did not think of either leading up to the home purchase or after you have moved into your new home. Assuming you will be obtaining a mortgage for this purchase, it is very important that you do not open any new lines of credit or make any large purchases leading up to your loan application. An example of a large purchase would be the purchase of a new car or boat. Ultimately, anything that may negatively impact your debt-to-income ratio may present challenges during your loan application process.
At Live South Florida Realty, Inc. we have assisted many clients build their real estate investment portfolios. Are you looking to buy or sell a property in South Florida? Now more than ever, it is critical to have a qualified real estate team and the proper search tools behind you. Live South Florida Realty, Inc., has been a leader in the South Florida market for many years. Let our team of professionals assist you with buying or selling your piece of paradise today! In addition, our recently launched “Florida Home Search” app is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. With real-time MLS feeds, this app lets you set your own alerts to notify you as soon as a property meeting your needs hits the market. Furthermore, it will also let you know of recent closed sales in your area so that you may be even more educated on the market. Be sure to download this app for your smartphone or tablet today!