Being a first-time home buyer is tough. In addition to difficult language that’s sometimes hard to decipher, taking a deep dive into your finances that, in a way, can feel very invasive, and a fluctuating market that ebbs and flows depending on various factors, things can get complicated. If you’re thinking about starting the search to find your first home, browse all of our Tips for First-Time Home Buyers below and start the search off on the right foot!
Improve your Financial Literacy
Buying a home is likely the biggest and most significant financial decision that you will ever make. Though, initially, it can be scary to know you’re tacking on a good amount of debt, the benefits that accompany homeownership are overwhelmingly advantageous. For a first-time buyer, we recommend sharpening your financial literacy in order to best understand the home buying process. Know that there are resources available in the form of classes, webinars, online forums, etc. that will help guide and educate you that will make the choice to pursue homeownership feel less daunting and more like the smart decision that it is! Our agents are well versed in their financial literacy and are always happy to provide you with any and all resources should you wish to strengthen your financial literacy to prep for buying a home.
Get in Touch with a Realtor ASAP
We cannot stress this enough. Working with a Realtor as early as possible is the best way to set yourself up for success. Though we always advocate for our Story House agents, Charlottesville is blessed with talented and hardworking agents who are dedicated to helping all clients find their dream homes. Our agents at Story House will attest to the saying, “it’s never too early to get in touch with us.” Even if you’re a few years out from looking for a home and just want to see where you stand, or you have a short timeline and are looking for something quickly, we would love to help. At Story House, our clients are for life, meaning that before, during, and years and years (and years) after the transaction is complete, we will continue to check in, answer any questions you may have, keep you updated on your homes value, and always be there for any and all real estate needs. Working with Story House means that we hope to delight and surprise you throughout the entirety of our relationship, which, of course, we hope lasts forever.
Work with a Lender Early on
The earlier, the better! Picture this: you decide you want to buy a home. The first thing you do is plug (what you believe to be) your ideal budget into Zillow and Realtor.com and fawn over all the beautiful houses that you see. Then, after working with a lender, they tell you that your budget is significantly less than what you’ve been browsing online. We don’t want this to happen to you. We want you to fall in love with homes that are only within your price range in order to avoid any heartbreak. We are here for you and know that we can find you a place to call home that checks all of your boxes while also honoring your budget and financial situation. Our agents will get you in touch with a lender who will assess your finances and determine what you can afford.
Time to Save!
Most people know that when you go to buy a house, you will most likely be required to pay a down payment. While lots of online resources will tell you that 20% is the standard, there are programs available today with options as low as 3-5% down to buy a home. No matter if it’s in your plan to save 3% or 20%, we recommend getting a head start by saving early and often. Consider tightening your budget and finding areas where you are able to eliminate some spending. As with most things in the home buying process, the earlier, the better. The sooner you start saving, the easier it will be to account for items associated with the buying process including, but not limited to, the down payment, any inspections, HOA fees, mortgage insurance, and any other general closing costs.
We hope these tips are helpful! We know the process can feel intimidating, which is why we’re by your side every step of the way to help alleviate any anxiety and answer any questions. For more Tips for First-Time Homebuyers, browse the entire First-Time Home Buyers category on our website. Get even more tips and advice by reading our “Where Do I Start?” blog, and educate yourself on these Common Home Buying Myths to stay in the know for when you’re ready to buy.