When looking to buy your first home there are some tips that you should keep in mind. Know that there will be many bumps in the road, but the end goal will be worth it
1. Take a home buyer education class.
This is super important in the home-buying process. There are many free options for home buying classes, these will help educate you on your rights and everything that is involved in the home-buying process.
Grants are wonderful for first time home buyers. They are low interest loans, no interest loans, and even FREE money from the state if you follow certain criteria.
Look at federal grants which can be programs like FHA (The Federal Housing Administration) in the United States.
Look at state level grants which can be programs like HDF (Housing Development Fund) in Connecticut.
Look at grants provided by the bank servicing your mortgage.
Look at town level grants which can be programs found in the town hall of the area you’re looking to buy in.
3. Look into multiple banks for your mortgage.
Just because one bank seems to be offering you a really great deal doesn’t mean that there aren’t better deals out there waiting for you. Be sure to meet your banking agent in person and ask them any questions you might have. A lot of times they will try to help you and match offers you have gotten from other banks.
4. DO NOT buy any furniture or open any new credit accounts while you’re in the home buying process.
No matter how tempting the deal is or how close you are to closing, do not buy furniture or open any lines of credit before your closing. I applied for a student loan a month or so before I put an offer on my house, however it didn’t appear on my credit until the second pull, about 30 days after my offer was accepted. The bank halted the process and required a formal letter from me explaining what the hard credit pull was. This was so scary because the bank was willing to drop me for something that did not appear on my first credit pull.
5. Find a realtor.
Most of the time the realtor is free to the buyer. I highly encourage any home buyer to find a trust worth agent, this will help you to search for homes for you and communicate with the seller and seller’s agent. As I’ve said, most of the time it is free, however there are times that the purchaser has to pay for their own realtor, which would be laid out in the buyer’s agreement.
6. You will have to pay for inspections.
Inspections are quite a hefty cost averaging at least $200 here in New England. A lot of grant programs will require you to get radon inspections, and inspections by multiple companies too. Be sure to talk to your bank and grants to establish what kind of inspections will have to be done.
7. Visit the house during times of heavy traffic, and late on a Friday night.
This will help you to understand the surroundings of the house. Are the neighbors night owls? Is it a high traffic area? These things may change your mind about purchasing the house. I didn't do this, and am slowly getting used to the roar of highway traffic at all hours.
8. Know that the process will never go as smoothly as anticipated.
Your bank may require the same document many times and your closing date may be pushed out, but keep strong and remember that the end goal is worth all the stress and setbacks involved.