First Time Home Buyer Tips

First Time Home Buyer Tips

Are you a first time home buyer?  Or perhaps it has been a while since you’ve purchased a home.  The process to purchase a home has become more complex largely due to the changes in the banking industry.

Consider following these 12 steps to help you navigate the process of purchasing a home for the first time. Also, you do not have to be a first time home buyer to take some of these tips into account if it has been a while since you have purchased a new home.

first time home buyer

First Time Home Buyer Steps to a Successful Home Purchase:

  1.  SAVE:  You’ll need money for a down payment, closing costs and escrow for insurance and taxes.  All of these costs add up to more than most buyers realize.
  2.  CREDIT SCORES:  Unless you already have great credit, take steps to improve your credit score.  Pay all of your bills on time, do not make any major purchases and do not close any credit cards. A better credit score equals a better interest rate which results in a lower house payment.
  3. CALCULATE WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD:  Use a mortgage calculator to determine what you can afford for a monthly payment.
  4. GET PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE:  Connect with a trusted mortgage lender to obtain pre-approval for the mortgage before you begin your search.  This process will help determine how much you can spend on a house and still get financing.  You will need a confirmation letter that shows you qualify for a mortgage when you submit an offer on a home or condo.
  5. DECIDE WHAT TYPE OF HOME YOU WANT:  Do you want a house or a condo?  Where do you want to be located?  Create a check list of items you think you “must have” in a home and also create a list of items that would be “nice to have”.
  6. CHOOSE A REALTOR:  Choose a Realtor to guide you through the process.  A Realtor will help you find a home that fits your needs and make sure you avoid mistakes in the purchasing process.
  7. VISIT HOMES:  Your Realtor will do all the work to identify homes that fit your interests and they’ll make appointments for you to go visit the homes.  Take photos and notes so you can reference them later.
  8. NARROW YOUR CHOICES:  Start eliminating neighborhoods that don’t fit your criteria.  Drive by those that you are interested in during the day and night to gauge traffic and noises.
  9. MAKE AN OFFER:  Again your Realtor will do all the work!  Discuss what offer price makes the most sense based on what other homes are selling for in the community.  Your real estate agent will prepare all the paperwork and act as the negotiator throughout the process.  They will also ensure you have the appropriate contingency paperwork included in the transaction which would give you the opportunity to walk away from the transaction if an unexpected issue (Ex. The home needs a new roof) arises.
  10. SCHEDULE A HOME INSPECTION:  Your Realtor will help you identify a good home inspector to evaluate the home and determine if there are any issues.  If the inspector does identify problems with the home, your Realtor will help negotiate a lower price on the home or ensure the repairs will be addressed prior to closing on the home.
  11. FINAL WALK THROUGH:  You will walk through the home one last time right before the closing.  At this point you’ll be able to confirm the house still appears as it did when you agreed to the contract and any agreed upon repairs have been made.  If it is a new construction home, you’ll be able to create a punch list of items that need to be fixed prior to closing.
  12. CLOSE AND MOVE IN:  Sign the paperwork, grab your new keys and move in!  Congratulations, it is time to celebrate!!

More Resources for the First Time Home Buyer:

Spring Home Buying Tips for First Time Home Buyers by The Mortgage Brothers

What Not to Do Before Buying a Home by Bill Gassett

Begin Your Own Property Search:

golf communitiesSo, if you’re ready to begin your search for your dream home or condo, I encourage you to explore my website to find information about communities in Southwest Florida.  If golf is your game, I specialize in golf community real estate and would be happy to help you navigate the more than 100 different golf communities in our area.  If you prefer a more direct approach, I will provide a list of properties that meet your criteria and/or communities that meet your needs.

Bottom Line:

Also, if you are considering new construction, remember the contractor’s real estate agent represents the builder’s best interest, not yours.  There is no cost to you to have an agent represent you. In fact, I may be able to help you save money and negotiate for extras which the builder may not let you know about.

If you’re looking for information about a specific community in Bonita Springs, Estero or Naples, please contact me and I will prepare a custom market report for you.  I will provide the market information and insights to help make sure you select your dream home!

Lastly, I will handle all contract negotiations for your property from offer to close!

About Matthew Klinowski, PA

Naples Golf GuyThe above information was provided by Matt Klinowski, an expert in Southwest Florida real estate.  When you are ready to buy or sell a single family home or condo in Naples, Bonita Springs or Estero, contact me. With almost 20 years of experience I can help provide the market information and insights into individual communities to help you find the perfect home.  Most importantly, I will handle all the negotiations to make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible.

Contact Matt:

or at 239-370-0892

May 29, 2018 Posted by Matt