Thinking of buying a home? Here are some useful tips.

A first time homebuyer I was working with a few years ago didn’t have a big budget. We looked at 12 homes for sale. Some were not located in an area that was convenient to his work, some were in poor condition and some he just didn’t like. During our home tours, we talked a lot about what to look for to make a good investment, as well as what he wanted. For good resale and appreciation, he was looking for three bedrooms and two bathrooms with off street parking.

Finally, he saw a home that was in the right location. It was in good condition and met the qualifications. When his parents visited from out of state, we showed them the house. He was excited and proud, but they commented it was an older home and needed updates. They felt the price was too high. I explained to them the real estate market in their hometown is different form ours, and that he had researched homes and looked at quite a few.

He bought the home and over time made improvements. He sold it a few years later and made enough profit to purchase a bigger, more expensive home for his soon-to-be-bride. When you sign a buyer’s representation agreement with a Realtor, you are guaranteed your agent will work for you. Your Realtor will talk you through the process, point out the positive and negative aspects in each home you tour, and help you make a good decision – the right decision for you. Your Realtor has your best interest at heart.

When shopping for the right home to purchase, you may want the advice and opinions of friends or family. It is wise to have someone you trust walk through the home you want to buy with you. Everyone has a different perspective and they may notice things that you don’t. A Yiddish Proverb said, “Seek advice but use your own common sense.” The bottom line is the decision is yours and the house will be yours, too.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, think about this:

  1. Stick to your budget.
  2. Make a list of what you want and need.
  3. Do your homework and ask questions.
  4. Get advice and then make your own decision.

It is normal to be nervous when buying your first home (or any home for that matter). It won’t be your dream home, so don’t expect it to be. Start modest and work your way up from there. Surround yourself with the right team. There is a team of advisors waiting to help you.

Your Realtor wants to help you make a good decision so that you’ll recommend them to your friends and family, and use them in the future when it’s time to move again. Your home inspector will check every aspect of the home’s condition so you know what repairs or improvements may be needed. Your mortgage lender wants you to be comfortable with your payments and expenses so you don’t get in financial trouble. Your friends and family want you to be safe, comfortable and happy in your new home.