6 Tips Every First Time Home Buyer Should Know

Over the course of a lifetime, many people will buy several homes. If you’ve never bought a home before, the home buying process can feel quite intimidating. Many first time home buyer find it hard to know where to begin and what to expect as they think about doing so. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to navigate the home buying process. First time home buyers will find many allies as they decide which home they like best. When making this crucial decision, these tips can help make the buyer feel more at ease and far less stressed.

A Better Credit Score

Nearly all first time buyers need to take out a mortgage to afford a home. While the kind of mortgage each buyer can qualify for depends on many factors, one of the most important are the applicants credit scores. If you less than ideal credit, it’s possible to create a better score. It’s a good idea to know your score before you go home shopping. In many cases, if you pay down any existing debts over the course of a few months, you’ll see your score rise. This may be able to get you a better mortgage rate and vastly reduce the amount of money you’ll pay for the home over time.

Confirm Everything

When looking at properties, take nothing at face value. If the description says the basement there’s all new appliances, ask to see evidence of recent purchases. Check the commute. It might say a twenty minute commute to the parkway, but that’s during the middle of the day not during rush hour. Find out for yourself in person. For properties you really like, take the time to visit them at all hours of the day. You might see that the street has lot of morning traffic but it gets much quieter during the afternoon.

Little Details Can be Changed

You might walk into a home and immediately dislike the decor. Remember, lots of little details can be changed. If you mostly love the house but find the homeowner’s choice of paint color too garish, all you need is some white paint to cover it up. The same is true of many details such as outdoor plantings and flooring. If you don’t find the wall to wall carpeting attractive, you can easily pull it up, sand the hardwood floors underneath and get a whole new look. All you need is some imagination. The one thing that can’t be changed is the location. If the street’s too busy or it looks out on a power plant, you can’t move the home. But almost everything else can be changed.

Maintenance Costs

Keep in mind that the cost of the property isn’t just the mortgage. You may also have to pay homeowner’s fees. If you’re buying a freestanding property, you’ll want to have another hundred or two hundred dollars set aside each month. This way, if there’s a sudden storm and the roof starts to leak, you have the money you need to get it fixed as soon as possible.

School Districts Matter

Many first time buyers haven’t had children yet. As a result, they tend to not to look too closely at the local school districts. This can be costly mistake. Buyers with kids may not even consider buying a home in a district they do not like. Sub par schools with low graduation rates, high student to teacher ratios and outdated buildings matter to many buyers. Even a first time home buyer should buy a home in the best school district they can afford. This will help them stay in the home if they want once they have a kids of their own.

You Probably Won’t Stay in This House

Even if you fall in love with your first home, chances are this won’t be your forever home. Most home buyers will move on to a new home within the next decade. Look for a home that pleases you right now but keep the future and potential new buyers in mind. Just because you don’t mind the busy highway six blocks away doesn’t mean others won’t.

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