What First-Time Home Buyers Need to Know

Home listings

The growth of the U.S. housing market, about 6% over the last year, has resulted in a Virginia real estate boom. In most Virginia towns and cities, owning a home is less expensive than renting, leading to a steady decline in short sales and foreclosures since August of 2012. Virginia homes have also seen a 21.34% decrease in the number of days they’re on the market since August 2012. All of these factors, combined with the low average mortgage interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage of only 4.34% have created a perfect storm for those interested in buying a new home in Virginia.

Realtors in Virginia see far too many instances of first-time home buyers rushing into buying a new house because of the favorable circumstances and ending up with a dud and a big bill. Here, we’ll look at some tips for buying a new home offered by realtors in Virginia.

What Realtors in Virginia Recommend for First-Time Home Buyers

  1. Go to a first-time home buyers’ seminar. A range of organizations like city housing departments and non-profit organizations offer seminars that focus on tips for finding a home, financing a purchase, and even home maintenance. Many are even free!
  2. Don’t start the process until you know what you can afford. Look closely at your average monthly budget (excluding rent) to determine what you will comfortably have left for a mortgage payment and home expenses.
  3. Know the difference between needs and wants. When you’re working on a budget, you’re bound to have to make some compromises. Create a checklist of needs and wants, remembering important factors like the neighborhood, commute, school system, and proximity to entertainment, and bring it to each home visit.
  4. Look at mortgage options. Think about your long-term plan when deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage. Shopping around at different banks might mean that you’re able to find a major discount.
  5. Consider first-time home buyer programs like the FHA which offer smaller down payments and rely less on high credit scores.
  6. Get pre-approval. This will help you understand how much you can expect to borrow and help you narrow your search to homes in your price range.
  7. Choose the right realtor. There are plenty of realtors in Virginia, but you want one who specializes in your area of town and type of property. Ask for recommendations and choose wisely.
  8. Understand the offer process. Your realtor should help you understand how to negotiate the offer process successfully. Do plenty of research on your own though, so you don’t miss something.
  9. Have your new home inspected. Your lender often won’t okay your loan unless your home has been deemed safe and investment-worthy.
  10. Read the fine print. Signing on closing day won’t be as stressful if you procure the documents ahead of time and read through them.

Buying a home for the first time can be an anxiety-ridden process. Be sure to conduct your process cautiously and to ask plenty of questions and you’ll be on the path to home owner heaven! Continue: www.cb-pro.com

Leave a Reply