If you are buying a house for the first time, there is a lot to consider. From where you want the house to be, to budget and bank visits, to finding a trusted realtor who you can work with for the entire purchasing process, you no doubt have lots of questions. Before you let yourself get overwhelmed with everything, use these three must-knows to get you started.
While many people are tempted to go without an agent to save costs, as a first-timer buyer, it is not an advisable choice. A real estate agent may come with their costs, but they also come with incredible knowledge and experience in the industry and are your best chance of getting the house that is the best one for you at the right price. Agents have their finger on the pulse of the market, knowing when a house comes through far before the public, offering them the ability to offer it to you as soon as it hits the market. More than that though, there is a lot of paperwork, legalities and financial components involved in purchasing a house, and this is not easy to navigate if you are unfamiliar. Agents do it every day, and they will be able to make sure your paper work and contracts are legal and done properly before you sign.
The money aspect is a pretty big deal when it comes to purchasing a house, so the best thing you can do is make sure it is a green light for your finances before you start looking for a home. Go to your bank or a lending institution and talk to them about your financial status and assess whether you qualify for a mortgage and how much you will be able to borrow. From there, you can choose to get pre-approval for a loan, which is very advantageous if you find yourself looking at a house on the market that you love and need to act on quickly to secure. Speak to your real estate agent about pre-approval and make sure you are on the same page about your budget and what houses you can afford.
While trusting your gut may be harder to put into practice than the concrete tasks of finding an agent and visiting a bank for your loan approval, as a first time buyer looking at Bay Area real estate, unfortunately, many people may try to take advantage of you. Whether it is sellers, other agents, the home inspection company, or the bank, some people like to capitalize on others lack of experience and use it to their detriment. If at any time something doesn’t feel right in the buying process, trust your gut and move on. Perhaps it is the people you are buying from, the broker you are using, or even the house you are viewing. Everybody is different and is suitable to different properties and different professional assistance, so if the one you have found isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to back away. There will be lots of other opportunities to find the right house and ensure you have the right person helping you with it.
Buying a house is a lifetime investment that will impact you for years to come. Make sure you do your research and find out everything you need to know before you start.