5 Things First Time Home Buyers Need To Know_Laurel Jonas BlogBuying your first home could seen overwhelming, emotional and a bit scary. It is quite a process and being prepared, educating yourself on the process and hiring the right people will make all the difference in the world. Here are is a list of 5 things first time home buyers need to know before buying a home.

1- Hire a local full time Realtor.

The agent you hire should educate and guide you through the process step by step. Interview agents, ask your friends who they recommend or ask around. You want someone who will be there every step of the way. The best part is- your hired professional won't cost you a penny. Sellers pay the broker commissions upon a successful closing. You want to feel comfortable with the agent you choose so pick wisely.

2- Hire a lender.

I recommend leaning on your Realtor for this. Your agent should have great business relationships with a handful of lenders. They tend to know which companies/ lenders can get the job done based on past experience and transactions. In order to write an offer on a home, you will need to be pre qualified. This means the lender will need to run your credit, collect pay stubs, tax returns, income verification etc. Then your lender will advise you on what financing options would work best for you. The most popular options are FHA, VA (if you are an active/inactive Vet) or Conventional. There are more lending programs out there and the lender will educate you on which one is best. Your lender will also be the one to tell you how much you are qualified for and what your estimated monthly payments will be.

3- Be Specific with what you want.

Once you are pre qualified and know the type of loan you will be obtaining, what your down payment will be and how much money will come out of your pocket, now you can move forward to the fun part, viewing homes. Communicate with your agent exactly what you are looking for in a home and price. Be specific and realistic. Live within your means and stay within your monthly budget.

4- Read the Contract.

When it comes time to write an offer, listen to your agent while he/she goes over the offer with you. Once accepted, you are then in a binding contract. Know what you are getting into to you don't end up in court. There are many time frames that need to be adhered to so listen to your agent to guide you through this process.

5- Know the Numbers.

Before even writing an offer, your agent should inform you of what Earnest Money is, when it is collected, what it's used for and how much you will need. Know that if you want to have an inspection done on your home, you'll have to pay for it along with any other inspections you want done. Same thing goes with a Home Warranty (unless negotiated in an offer). Speaking with your lender, you should know your down payment. What about closing costs? That is in addition to your down payment. That is something that could be negotiated as well but if it's not, that needs to be paid at closing along with your down payment. Know your numbers. Be communicating with your lender and Realtor throughout the entire process.

Buying a home will be an emotional time. By being prepared and hiring professionals to guide you through the process will make a wonderful and exciting experience.

Laurel Jonas
Northwest Realty Group