First Time Home Buyer Step-By-Step Guide
5 Steps to Becoming a First Time Home Buyer in 2024
Going through the steps of becoming a first time home buyer can feel very daunting, especially if you don’t know where to begin. You want to buy a home and you have savings to do so, but then what? Our Roohan Realty agents worked together to make a step-by-step guide laying out where to start and what to do as a first time homebuyer.
1. Find the right REALTOR®
First and foremost you should do extensive online and in-person research to find a Realtor®. Ask family and friends for their success stories and be sure to do some of your own research on the side. Interview your top two to three candidates to see if they will match your personality and can, most importantly, help you meet your goal. Using a Realtor® is a non-negotiable as their knowledge and list of recourses will make your next steps easier. Your Realtor® should have a list of referrals like loan officers, lawyers, inspectors and more. At the end of the day your Realtor® is there to guide and support you in this process, making sure you don’t miss anything.
– Meg Minehan, Associate Real Estate Broker, GRI
2. Speak with a loan officer
All first time buyers should meet with a lender before they start searching for homes. Meeting with a lender will let you know exactly what your budget is not only for buying a house but also to make sure you can afford the monthly mortgage payments, taxes, and all other hidden costs that comes when purchasing a home. You won’t want to be wasting your time falling in love with a house that is out your price range. Your lender can also let you know about first time home buyer programs that have lower down payments or other attractive terms that will help you in purchasing your home by making smart financial decisions. A lender can start the mortgage pre-approval process which can help you move very quickly when you find a house. Remember you DON’T want to be house rich and money poor.
– Michelle Mebert, Real Estate Salesperson
3. Make your wish list for your new house
The next step is to define your needs and wants. Be realistic in terms of your budget and make sure you’re in tune with your wants and needs. An example of a need might be the location of where you envision yourself living. Think about things like your commute to work, where the nearest grocery store is; things that will affect where you want to buy and what you’re willing to compromise on. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t find the perfect home, with the perfect floorplan, in the perfect neighborhood, for the perfect price. Something is always going to have to give so being able to prioritize where you’re comfortable compromising is going to make the process more enjoyable.
– Valerie Thompson, Associate Real Estate Broker
4. Know your legal counsel
Having a strong legal council will help guide you and protect you by taking on any trouble that may come up. Having the right lawyers will protect you when it comes time to signing legally binding contracts. Its important to make sure that you have trustworthy people surrounding you throughout the home buying process who are going to look out for your best interest.
– Tom Roohan, Real Estate Broker
5. Tour houses to get an idea of why type of houses are in your price range
Once you have your budget and list of needs and wants clearly defined, its time for the fun part! Visit open houses in the area where you want to live and familiarize yourself with the style and condition the homes are that are available there and within your budget. Try to avoid touring homes outside of your budget because that will only lead to disappointment, look only at what you can afford and be patient! When your perfect home comes along you’ll just know.
–Tara Garrett, Real Estate Salesperson
Key Words of Wisdom
When it comes to buying a home for the first time always remember to set a time frame for yourself so you can work towards a goal; write it down because a goal that’s not written down is just a dream.
– Carol Raike, Associate Real Estate Broker
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