As a first time home buyer, this is an exciting time period for you. However, the first time home buying progress can be quite stressful too since you are borrowing such a large sum of money for your mortgage. With the endless possibilities, it is easy for the first time home buyer to become overwhelm by floor plans, lot sizes, and landscaping. Here are some first time home buyer tips that will make your home buying experience less stressful.
First Time Home Buyer Tip #1:
Figure out what you "need" and what you "want" prior you start looking at homes.
No matter how compatible you are with your spouse, both of you will have differing opinions on what you "need" and what you "want" in a house. A three car garage might be on your "need" list, but might be on the "want" list for your spouse. You might want three bedrooms, but your spouse prefers to have a bigger family room. If you have no idea what the two of you are actually looking for in a house, you might end up spending a lot of time looking at homes that you do not want to buy.
Sit down with your spouse. On two sheets of paper list the following three headings: Needs, Wants, Optional. Then list house attributes under the three headings separately from your spouse. House attributes to consider include: number of bedrooms, garage spaces, bathrooms, yard sizes, one story or two stories, finished landscaping, power lines, etc. Then compare your list with your spouse and start working on what house attributes you can compromise on to get a master house attributes list before house shopping.
First Time Home Buyer Tip #2
Use the internet to check out the neighborhood prior to seeing the home.
As a first time home buyer, it is exciting to check out one home after another on a Saturday afternoon. Most people take 4-6 months to find their perfect home. Spending every Saturday and Sunday afternoon looking at a bunch of homes for hours loses its appeal after two or three months of searching without finding a home you want.
You can use Google Earth to check out the surrounding neighborhood prior to getting there. You can see how far the local school is from the potential house, check for power lines if that is an issue, where is the closest bus line from the potential house, and look at your potential neighbor's yard.
A co-worker fell in love with the interior of a house, but fail to notice a bus stop in front of her house. If she looked for first time home buyer tips prior to purchasing her house, she might have taken the time to use the internet to check out the surrounding neighborhood and cross her house off the potential home list in the first place. Now she has to deal with teenagers waiting for the bus multiple times a day and the trash they leave behind on her front yard.
First Time Home Buyer Tip #3
Research closing costs for your mortgage prior to escrow.
Closing cost vary by lender. Some closing costs can be negotiated and some closing costs just pad your lender's pockets. By knowing which fees are considered junk fees, you can effectively question and negotiate a reduction on your closing costs.
By following these first time home buyer tips, you can reduce the stress of being first time home buyers.