One you've saved up enough money for a hefty down payment, you are ready to start looking for your very first home. Unfortunately, it's common for many people to be unprepared when they start the home buying process. If you are new to real estate, check out these two tips that will help everything go smoothly.
Set A Budget
You may be tempted by granite countertops, hot tubs, and tons of extra space, but is that all stuff you can afford for your first home? That's why it is important to set a budget for purchasing a home. You can't just pull this number out of thin air, as it requires doing a bit of legwork to figure it out.
By meeting with a loan officer at your local bank, you'll be able to determine how much money the bank will give you for a mortgage. This is determined by looking at how much existing debt you have, current income levels, and employment history.
Narrowing down your search by price range will help you focus on homes that are practical, and make it easier to find your first home.
Check The MLS Every Day
The MLS, known as the multiple listing service, is how homes are listed when they are put up for sale. Many real estate sites use the information submitted to the MLS to populate their listings. It is used industry wide, and the best way to find homes as soon as they are listed for sale. The MLS does not list homes that are for sale by owner, but FSBO homes only make up approximately 9% of home sales.
If you are working with a real estate agent, they use this information to search for homes that meet your criteria. It doesn't hurt to look on your own though. Homes can have offers made on them very quickly, and there is a chance that you may see something before your realtor does. Make sure that the real estate site that you are using is powered by the MLS. Not all websites use it, and there can be a significant delay between when homes are listed and when they show on the website.
Purchasing a new home for the first time can be a daunting experience. As long as you are prepared by knowing where to search for homes with a proper budget in mind, you'll be off to a great start.