Caroline Ashe Your Source in Augusta, GA Real Estate July 29th, 2007
Buying a home can be a very rewarding experience- but it can seem overwhelming and daunting. New home buyers are confused, anxious, and concerned when it comes to finding a real estate agent, choosing the house, and getting financing. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed: Here are a few easy steps to get started!
If you are unsure of how much house you can afford, then contact the loan officer at your bank. Even if you choose not use them, they can pre-qualify you on the phone and give you an idea of what price range you should be looking in. This does not mean you are ‘pre-approved’. Pre-qualifying will not tell you whether or not you will be approved for an actual loan.
The next step after determining what price range you can afford to buy in is figuring out what you are looking for in a home. This means how many bedrooms you need, what size yard, and what area you want to live. Depending on what price range you fall in -especially if you are in $125,000 or less in the Augusta market- there will be limitations on the kind of home that you can get. It may not be in the exact location you had hoped for, or it will not be very large.
Once you have a rough idea of what you are looking for, it is now time to find a Realtor. They will help you determine what the market has to offer you. In choosing a Realtor, interview this person to determine if they have a personality suited to helping you. You are a first time home buyer- so you need to find someone that is willing to walk you through the process. If they seem impatient or are pushy they may not be right for you. Many Realtors do not care to work with first time home buyers, because they require more work than other buyers. There are Realtors out there who love working with first time home buyers… They find helping new home buyers to be a rewarding experience! After you have chosen a Realtor, have them take you out to see what the market has to offer. Don’t be afraid to look at homes that you think you might not care for, but your Realtor has encouraged you to look at. Realtors see a lot of homes and have a good idea of what certain areas and homes have to offer. Don’t judge a home by the MLS stats!
The next step is choosing the right house. Try to picture which house you see yourself living in. If you feel comfortable and it seems like the right house, then it probably is! Buying a home is a large investment and new home buyers worry that they are going to make the wrong choice. Well, if you plan to stay in the home for at least five years, then you will probably not regret your decision. As an investment, a home is a great long term choice. In most cases, after 5 years home values will have gone up and you will have built up enough equity that you will not lose money. Likely you will make money on the home. So, pick the house with out doubt.
When you are ready to commit to a home, your pre-approval for a home loan becomes important. This is a great piece of paper to have with you when you put in an offer. Homeowners are more likely to want to deal with the person who is guaranteed to be able to financially buy the property. Being pre-approved gives you more leverage over other home buyers.
Before you put an offer in on a home, ask your Realtor to do a Competitive Market Analysis. This will help determine if the home is listed at the appropriate price and where your offer should be. You never want to offer too much or too little on a home. Too much and you could make a bad investment or hinder your financing from going through. Too little and the seller could reject your offer for someone else’s and you will lose the home you want.
The rest of the process your Realtor will walk you through. This includes putting an offer on the home you have chosen, getting an inspection done, possibly getting a survey, choosing a closing attorney, etc. So now you know how to start the process, go out there and find your new home!!!!