7 Things a First-Time Home Owners Should Know Before Buying

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Buying your first home is one of the most exciting and satisfying moments of your life. Turning the key for the first time in the door of the home you now own is a moment unlike any other, and it’s worth experiencing when you can afford to make a move. Before you start the home-buying process, however, there are a few things you should know that will only make the process easier and less stressful for you.

1. Start With Your Credit Report

Don’t even think about buying a home before you check your credit report. Even if you have an excellent credit history, your report might not reflect that. Mistakes happen all the time, and your information might be incorrectly recorded. Your rate, your ability to buy a home, and what you can afford to spend might be greatly affected by even the smallest mistake on your report.

2. Get the Pre-Approval

The truth is all buyers should get pre-approved for a mortgage before buying a home. Many sellers won’t accept offers without a pre-approval, and it helps you know what you can afford to spend. Your idea of affordable and the bank’s idea of affordable for your budget might be significantly different.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important first step, especially in a competitive housing market.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important first step, especially in a competitive housing market.

3. Calculate Other Expenses

It’s a mistake to assume your mortgage should be as much as you can afford to spend. You must take into account the other costs associated with homeownership before figuring what you can afford.  Figure taxes, insurance, home maintenance, homeowner association fees, and household emergencies into the affordability of a new home before shopping.

4. Down Payments are Necessary

There are many options for buyers without a down payment, but it’s not recommended you go with one. It’s better to apply for a mortgage with at least 20% down so you can get a mortgage without Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI is an expensive addition to your monthly expenses, and it might mean buying a smaller, more affordable home to fit the payment into your monthly budget. A down payment can eliminate the need to pay PMI.

5. Find the Right Realtor

If you find the right Realtor, the process of buying a new home is made simple and efficient. Working with someone you don’t like, don’t mesh well with, or can’t seem to agree with can make homebuying stressful. The right realtor can find the home of your dreams by working hard and listening to you.

6. Learn to Compromise

You won’t find the exact house you’re dreaming of unless you choose to build as an option, so now is a good time to realize you’ll need to make some sacrifices and compromises when selecting your dream home during the buying process. Sit down and make a list of what’s most important to you in order of importance, so you know where you’re willing to compromise.

Realize your first house purchase may not be your dream home.
Realize your first house purchase may not be your dream home.

7. It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

You might find the house of your dreams on day one, or it might take you months to find it. The offer might not be accepted; it might be declined, someone else might get the house before you. The inspection could come back with bad news. The house might not appraise for the asking price. The seller might back out. You might find a home you love even more. There could be a problem with financing. The process is lengthy, so sit back and prepare to spend some time dealing with it. Knowing to expect the unexpected isn’t exactly enjoyable, but it’s easier to deal with than expecting the process to be seamless.

Your home buying experience doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You can apply these tips and tricks to the process to help it move along smoothly, but know that buying a home is both exciting and stressful. There’s no easy to way to get through the process without experiencing both emotions regularly. With Papillon Real Estate by your side, we’ll help you navigate the home buying process so you can close sooner and move into your Miami home more quickly.

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