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A Guide for the First Time Home Buyer

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Buying a home is a huge step and can be a stressful process for anyone. This is especially true for the First Time Home Buyer. So we have put together a guide to assist the First Time Home Buyer navigate their way through the process and will make the overall home buying experience a much easier one.

Inventorying each home as you view them is a great way to keep yourself organized and makes it much easier at the end of your search to evaluate which homes you want to keep on your list and which you don't.

  • Bring a camera and start each viewing by taking a picture of the home's address so when you go back to review the pictures you can easily tell which ones go with which home.
  • Right after leaving each home rate them on a scale of 1 to 10, this way the home is still fresh in your mind.
  • Remember to take notes. What features did you like or not like? What things would you need to change or upgrade in the home.
  • Are you please with the home's location? Is a park close by or is it on a busy street?
  • Check the selling prices of comparable homes in the area.

Of course another big area of concern will be deciding what you can truly afford. Evaluate the numbers and decide if this is the correct time to purchase your first home. One advantage buyers have right now is Mortgage Rates are at historic lows and home prices are well below their highs of several years ago. This is fantastic news for Buyers!

You need to remember that it will take more than just the down payment to get the keys to your first home. When purchasing a home you also need to consider the closing costs and other future expenses that come with homeownership. Fannie Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28% of their income on housing costs. If you decide to go past 30% you will be putting yourself at risk.

A couple areas the experts agree upon are homeowners should make every effort to have 3% of their home's purchase price put away in savings for any home improvements or unforeseen expenses. Also holding anywhere from 3-6 months of mortgage payments in savings is highly recommended, just in case of a job loss or any other unexpected costs.

Another key element to avoiding disaster is a Home Inspection. This can be an extremely helpful tool for the first time home buyer because it will allow you to see a detailed list of the repairs that will need to be address immediately or soon. You can create a To-Do list based on the inspection and have a better understanding of the additional costs associated with the repairs. 

Be sure to read Saving for a Down Payment Tips & Buyer Checklist!

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