Ready to Buy? Not Sure Where to Start?
Congratulations on beginning your journey to buy your first home! I bought my first home when I was 21 years old and it was the best decision that I ever made. It was exciting, stressful, and scary all at once. I had no idea where to start but I was lucky to find a real estate agent that helped me through the whole process and was just as excited as I was.
The FIRST STEP is finding a real estate agent. For me, this was not an easy task. It was important that I found someone who listened to my needs and made the experience a positive one. Over the course of my three month search for a home I had met with three real estate agents. The agent I decided to work with was a perfect match. She was positive, had great communication, provided a wealth of information, listened to my concerns, and negotiated the best price on a home that had multiple offers. This experience is something I will remember for the rest of my life and my real estate agent was a big part of that memory.
The SECOND STEP is finding a lender and obtaining a pre-approval letter. In today's market, it's really important to have a pre-approval letter before you start searching for a home. It not only gives you the price range that you should be searching in but also saves you from the last minute scramble to retrieve one when you find the perfect home. A buyer who is pre-approved can make an offer stronger and quicker on a home that may be gone tomorrow than the buyer who waited till today to get pre-approved.
The THIRD STEP is to narrow done your search criteria for your perfect home and to start searching with your real estate agent. Real Estate agents can set up an auto email with the criteria that you are looking for so that when a new home pops up on the local mls you are alerted instantly. Don't be surprised that once you begin looking that your idea of a perfect home changes. Sometimes you don't know what you're looking for until you see what's available in your price range.
Once you have found "the one", make an offer! Don't wait too long to decide because it might not be there tomorrow. When making an offer you will want to consider what purchase price to offer, the amount in earnest money you are putting down, the appliances that are included, if you are asking for closing costs to be paid by the seller, how many days you need for the inspection period, etc. Your local real estate agent will know the local market and will be able to provide you with some great advice on how to make your offer stand out.
I hope this helps you on your journey to finding your dream home and wish you lots of luck!