Quick Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home can be very exciting. In fact, it's exactly this excitement that can cause you to become overwhelmed and, possibly, make those "rookie" mistakes. To help you refocus your efforts and make the best decisions we have provided some quick and simple tips.

Decide what you want.
Don't let others tell you what YOU want in your first home. Make a list of the things you desire in a home. Don't hold back; list them all out. Then, make a list of things you do NOT want in a home. These lists should include every aspect of your first home, including yard space, size, neighborhood, schools, etc. Now, go back through your lists and rank-order them. This is where you have to put your "realist" hat on. You know you probably won't get everything you want, but at least decide what the "must-have" and the "definitely not" items are. Finally, working with the two rank-ordered lists, put together a one-page checklist to carry on house-hunting trips.

Be proactive.
Research the realtors in your area and get to know the housing market. Be an informed, proactive buyer. The Internet can be a great resource here. The same is true for friends, relatives, and co-workers. Use your network. If you would like us to refer one of our expert Realtor partners, simply give us a call.

Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Once you identify the right Realtor, do NOT be shy about asking questions. Ask away. When visiting a home, don't be shy about asking the sellers (or their agent) plenty of questions. Be friendly about it, but be thorough.

Know the market prices.
Asking prices are negotiable. Always compare the asking price of the homes you're considering to recent sales in the area. Your Realtor can help you discover recent sales in the same area.

Bring a devil's advocate.
Involve a friend or relative in the process who can be a devil's advocate. This is crucial when making such a large purchase. You don't want to be carried along by emotion or excitement. These things can inhibit your otherwise sound judgment.