To make your first home buying experience a positive one, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for the adventure ahead. Walking into the home buying process without a bit of preparation can cost you extra money and delay the purchase of your new property. Check out these tips for first time home buyers to get you started down the right path.

Tip 1 – Check Your Credit Report

Your credit report should be free of errors and delinquent accounts. Why is this important? The mortgage loan lender uses that report to judge your credit worthiness and stability. You can get a copy of your credit report from each of the three main reporting agencies without paying a fee due to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It’s a good idea to get a copy from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax and compare the information. Take care of any past due accounts and report errors you find. Keep in mind that you should avoid purchasing large ticket items or changing jobs during the time before and during the home buying process. Doing so could impact your income to debt ratio and cause delays.

Tip 2 – Money in the Bank

Even though you’re getting a home mortgage loan to cover the cost of the property, you will still need cash on hand to cover other expenses. The down payment required is typically twenty percent of the purchase price. You can expect to pay from two to eight percent to cover closing costs. There are circumstances where the seller will agree to pay the closing costs, but you should be prepared to pay them yourself. You will want a cushion of money for moving expenses and utility service fees.

Tip 3 – Find a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent has the experience and knowledge you need to have a successful transaction. What you don’t know can cause unnecessary stress, cost you extra money, and create delays. Your real estate agent is there with you for every stage of the home buying process. They will use their resources to share the newest MLS listings with you. This could mean you have access to a new home within days of it being listed. Choose a real estate agent that communicates at a high level, genuinely listens to your needs, and has strong negotiation skills. You deserve to have the best representation for one of the biggest investments of your life.

Tip 4 – Get Pre-Approved

Nothing is as disappointing as finding a wonderful house that checks all your wish list boxes, only to find out that it exceeds your budget. Don’t let this happen to you. Apply for a home mortgage loan pre-approval to get an accurate idea of your target price range. The pre-approval letter tells buyers that you can follow through with the purchase and are serious about buying a house. This could tip the tables in your favor if you run into a bidding was situation.

Tip 5 – Make a Wish List

Creating a list of attributes that are important to you when it comes to finding the perfect home will save you time and keep you focused. Make a note of the number of bedrooms you require, the style of house you prefer, and the type of neighborhood in which you want to live. Make special marks beside any item that you consider non-negotiable. It’s easy to get distracted by the beauty of a new home, and you don’t want to lose sight of your home buying goals. Your real estate agent needs a copy of this list to help save you time when it comes to home searches.

Tip 6 – Be Patient

Don’t be shocked if there are a few bumps along the way that increase your stress level. When things happen to push your buttons, remember to stay calm and be patient. Your real estate agent will keep you informed as you make progress, and they are always available to answer your questions. Trust them to negotiate on your behalf and have your best interest in mind.

Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Robin Dodd a call today at 214-991-7698 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.

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