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Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

May 21, 2008
Buying a home for the first time is very exciting! You get to search for the house of your dreams and envision what it will look like and imagine having all the home features that you have wanted for a long time. And you should get excited! Searching for a place to finally call your own is a wonderful thing! But there are certain considerations that first-time homebuyers need to keep in mind as they're searching for their dream home.

While it is important to know what you want in your home, it is important to remember that you are probably not going to find a home with every single little thing that you have dreamed of and is in perfect condition. Be willing to overlook the small things, because nothing will be perfect.

Think about what you are looking for a home and what features are very important to you. Prioritize your list and decide on what you could live without.

Before even looking, you should get a copy of your credit report and make sure that there are no mistakes on it. If there are, get them corrected as soon as possible. Also review your finances and decide if you have enough to make a down payment and cover closing costs.

Another important thing to do before you even start looking is to talk to a mortgage company and get prequalified for a loan. This will be extremely useful when you do find a home that you love and want to make a firm commitment to the seller.

It is important to have a good support system, especially if you are using people who have bought homes before. Make sure to keep it to one or two people though. Anymore than that and you will become easily confused and not know who to believe.

Another important consideration is when you could move into your new home. Consider when your lease runs out and how easy it would be to find another rental. Also find out if your landlord would allow you to sublet your rental if you were to move into a house sooner than expected.

Think about what you need now by thinking about what you will need in the future. If you are only looking for a small home to get yourself started, you will have very different needs than if you are looking for something that you want to stay in for the next five to ten years. This could also affect your mortgage.

Make sure that you have enough money left at the end of the purchase to put money into your new home. Even if it does not need repairs immediately, it will at some point and you want to make sure you have the funds to cover it.

Protect yourself by getting a home inspection and if possible, a warranty for your first year in the home from the seller.

Do not go it alone, especially for the first time. Find a good Realtor who will work in the buyer's best interest. These Realtors can often have their commission drawn from the seller's commission payment.

Many first-time homeowners make the same mistakes so it is important to avoid them. Make sure you understand all your options for a mortgage so you can get the deal that will suit you most. Act decisively and increase your chances of getting the home you want. Make your offer as attractive as you can to the seller. Consider resale when you are looking at houses to buy.
About the Author
Paige Martin is award winning Houston realtor. Her website features 500+ pages of data and lists all Houston Condos for sale and Houston Townhomes For Sale. Paige is a member of the Houston, Texas, and National Assoc of Realtors. Paige Martin, Martha Turner Properties.
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