Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

  1. Be picky, but donít be unrealistic. There is no perfect home.
  1. Do your homework before you start looking. Decide specifically what features you want in a home and which are most important to you.
  1. Get your finances in order. Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover your down payment and your closing costs.
  1. Donít wait to get a loan. Talk to a lender and get pre-qualified for a mortgage before you start looking.
  1. Donít ask too many people for opinions. It will drive you crazy. Select one or two people to turn to if you feel you need a second opinion.
  1. Decide when you could move. When is your lease up? Are you allowed to sublet? How tight is the rental market in your area?
  1. Think long-term. Are you looking for a starter house with the idea of moving up in a few years or do you hope to stay in this home longer? This decision may dictate what type of home youíll buy as well as the type of mortgage terms that suit you best.
  1. Donít let yourself be ďhouse poorĒ. If you max yourself out to buy the biggest home you can afford, youíll have no money left for maintenance or decoration or to save money for other financial goals.
  1. Donít be naÔve. Insist on a home inspection and, if possible, get a warranty from the seller to cover defects within one year.
  2. Get help. Hire an Alfred Mitchell REALTOR as your buyerís representative. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a buyerís representative is working only for you. Best of all, buyerís reps are paid out of the sellerís commission payment and there is absolutely no cost to you.

Reprinted from REALTORS Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS Copyright 2004 All rights reserved

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