First-Time Home Buyers
Buying a home for the first time can be a bit daunting, so we've created a guide to help you with getting started. Below is a simplifed breakdown of the process:
- Down payment: This is typically the biggest hurdle to home ownership. Down payments range from 3.5 - 20%, but there are loan programs available that can even allow 0% down. If you're curious about the various loan types, feel free to conatct us below.
- Pre-Qualification: A mortgage broker will help you find out how much you can afford to pay for a home. This typically includes providing the following documents: 2 years Tax Returns, 2 months Pay stubs, and a recent Bank Statement.
- Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. Pre-approval does typically involves running your credit, but is viewed by sellers as much stronger and realistic offer.
- Representation by a Professional: It's important to have a trusted professional advocating for you throuout the process. (Team Wong's gotcha covered!)
- List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes - things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
- Once you've found a potential place: Try to visualize the yourself living there and how it would fit your lifestyle. Also look at the empty house & imagine how it would look with your decor. Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light? All important considerations in finding a home you can be happy with.
- Be Thorough: Be sure to allocate a small amount of funds (about $200-600) for the due dillagence process. Have the property inspected by a professional home inspector.
- Communiate openly with your Realtor: Your Realtor is your advocate, and the best way for them to serve your greatest interest is to communicate as much as possible throughout the process. We love to hear our clients thoughts and feedback so that we can ensure they will be happy with their new home.
- Unexpected Costs: If you can, allocate some funds for miscellaneous expenses like buying furniture, kitchenware or moving services. This can make your highly anticipated move-in process more seamless and less stressful.