4 Tips and Advice for First-Time Home Buyers You Must Read!

If you are looking into becoming a first-time homebuyer, then we have to talk. It’s exciting when you buy your first house!

According to the California Association of Realtors, the state’s median sale price for a home was an astounding $898,980 as of May 2022.

Yes, the market is daunting, but slow down. The perfect house will find its way to you, when it works with your financial situation. You may be wondering, how to get started with the process. Well, we got you covered!

 

Homebuying Tips:

For first-time homebuyers, it’s crucial to take additional steps to ensure a smooth transition into homeownership:

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      1. Save for a Down Payment: Start saving early as a first-time homebuyer. Aim for a minimum of 20% of the home’s purchase price to secure a favorable mortgage and avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI).

      2. Understand Your Credit Score: Check and improve your credit score to qualify for better mortgage rates. A higher credit score can potentially save you thousands over the life of your loan.

      3. Explore First-Time Homebuyer Programs: Look into government or local programs offering down payment assistance, lower interest rates, or financial incentives for first-time homebuyers.

      4. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage: Strengthen your offer by getting pre-approved for a mortgage before house hunting. This involves a lender reviewing your financial information to determine your borrowing capacity.

      5. Factor in Closing Costs: Be aware of closing costs, including attorney fees and title insurance. Prepare for these additional financial obligations in the homebuying process.

      6. Plan for Property Taxes and Insurance: Understand property tax rates and homeowners insurance costs in your desired area. Include these expenses in your monthly mortgage payment planning.

      7. Attend Homebuyer Education Classes: Gain valuable insights by attending homebuyer education classes or workshops. Learn about the homebuying process, financial management, and homeownership responsibilities.

      8. Budget for Homeownership Expenses: Beyond the initial purchase, budget for ongoing expenses like utilities, property maintenance, and homeowners association (HOA) fees if applicable.

      9. Emergency Fund for Homeownership: Set aside funds for homeownership emergencies, aiming for 1% of your home’s value per year. This fund covers unforeseen repairs and routine maintenance.

      10. Account for Moving Expenses: Plan for moving expenses, including truck rental, box purchases, and hiring movers if needed. Estimate costs through the American Moving and Storage Association for both local and long-distance moves.

House Hunting Tips:

  • Be flexible in your home search: Have an open mind, when searching. Oftentimes, first-time homeowners put themselves in a difficult situation by becoming fixated on their ideal house. It’s unlikely that most first-time home buyers will receive their first choice. Your chances of succeeding are higher the more adaptable you are. Before you begin your search, it could be useful to list the qualities that are most important to you; this will enable you to better evaluate your selections once you start seeing potential homes.
  • Research Where You Want to Live: When looking for a home, take into account the following neighborhood aspects:
    • Schools: The affordability of homes is frequently influenced by high-quality schools.
    • Walkability: Having access to amenities like playgrounds, grocery stores, and public transportation that you can reach on foot can help you avoid public transit.
    • Parking: If you’re thinking about purchasing a building without parking, examine the availability of street parking, particularly at night and on weekends when more inhabitants may be parking. You might also look at parking choices for rent.
    • Property taxes: They might vary significantly between neighborhoods. This crucial information will be available to your real estate professional.
    • Get Familiar with First-Time Home Buyer Programs: CHER can help you the simple and affordable way, here’s how we can help you:
      • Sign up at CHER to see how much you can qualify for by getting pre-qualified in less than 5 minutes!
      • Browse our thousands of homes curated for you at cherahome.com