Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home is a very exciting time, but first-time homebuyers can also feel a bit anxious if you do not have all the information you need or are not fully prepared for all the costs necessary to buy a home.

 

Here are some things to consider to help you be prepared for your big move.

  • First and foremost, determine a realistic amount for how much you can afford.Consider your current monthly budget, leave room for miscellaneous home costs and repairs, like HOA fees, taxes and insurance. Then determine the amount you can afford for a house payment, considering what percentage of your take-home pay can be used.

 

  • Pay off all debt. Carrying debt will not only decrease the amount you will qualify for but can also add stress to your monthly bottom line
  • Save for a down payment. Having 20% down is ideal, that will get you into a position of not having to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
  • Save for closing costs. Typically, closing costs are 3-4% of the purchase price. Once you have a good idea of the home price, you can get to this number easily.
  • Loan pre-approval. Once you have paid off debt and saved for closing cost, it is a good idea to have a lender pre-approve you for a loan. This will help expedite the closing process and give you an idea of what amount you actually qualify for.

 

  • When it comes time to finding the perfect house, research desirable neighborhoods to find the best fit.

 

  • Hire a real estate agent that can help you navigate the maze of open houses and do all the necessary paperwork!

8 Tips on Choosing a Real Estate Agent

These days it seems that anywhere you throw a rock you will hit a real estate agent. They are everywhere!  So, when you need one, how do you chose the one that is best for you?  With the return of the real estate values and huge demand, being a real estate agent has become cool again.  Here are the 8 things to look for when hiring an agent to get the best service and expertise possible.

  1. Availability– In a hot market when you are buying or selling, you need to have an agent that has time for you or you will miss out on some good houses.
  2. Market Knowledge– It is impossible to know everything about every neighborhood, but most agents specialize in certain areas.  If you are looking to buy or sell in neighborhood, look for an agent that specializes in that area.
  3. Experience– It usually goes without saying that you can’t buy experience.  When it comes to real estate agents, you need someone who knows the business and how to play the “game” of real estate.
  4. Resources– Since 2008 the market has been constantly changing.  Mortgage loan types, underwriting requirements and down payments are all different from 10 years ago. Today you need an agent that understands these industry changes and has people and resources in place to help with the mortgage loan process.
  5. New Marketing: Social Media– It used to be in order to sell a home you needed the three “P’s” of marketing.  They were Price, Product, and Promotion.  Sometimes you also needed the 4th “P” prayer…  While the three “P’s” are still important the thing that has changed the most is Promotion.  The old school best bang for buck used to be placing ads in the local paper.  Slowly over the past 10 years print has moved to digital ads through the paper.  Now in 2017, social media is king.  With Facebook, Instagram, twitter, etc. smart agents can advertise listings directly to the demographics that are looking for a home for maximum marketing impact.  Find an agent that is social media savvy. Bonus Tip: If you can’t find them on facebook or Instagram, you may want to find another agent.
  6. The agent sells real estate full time– There are plenty of agents out there that are selling real estate as their second job.  You want an agent that is in the business full time and is actively selling homes to buyers and sellers.
  7. Ask your friends and family for suggestions– Many of the best agents do very little to market themselves because they don’t have to.  The best agents get the majority of their business from client referrals.  A little known fact about sales is that if you do a good job the majority of the time, a client might tell 1 or 2 people what a great job you did.  However, when you do a poor job, a client will tell everybody they know.  So ask around, you will find out who is good and who is not.
  8. They are willing to listen– It is amazing how often people don’t listen. You don’t want to waste your time or their time looking at properties that won’t fit your needs.

Here are Market Source Real Estate we specialize in the Salt Lake and surrounding markets.  With exceptional knowledge in older homes and their construction, charm, and pitfalls we help our buyers and sellers maximize their “new” old homes.  Call Monique or Jeremy today.