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Buying Process

Advice for First-Time Buyers

The first time you buy a home can be the most exciting and the most nerve-racking experience. In order to make the process a positive one, take this helpful advice for first-time buyers to heart.

It can help you avoid many of the mistakes that first-time homebuyers make and can ensure that you buy the house that is right for you. Here is the general roadmap for happy house hunting!

Know What You Are Looking For

Now comes the fun part for first-time homebuyers. Now you get to put together your wish list for the house that you really want. You will want to have two lists to work from. One list is your list of needs:

  • Specific Number of Bedrooms
  • Specific Number of Bathrooms
  • Square Footage
  • Location, Etc.

These are the things that you cannot budge on. These may include a lot of other things like specific school districts or distance from your place of employment. That is your primary list. Your second list is your wants; things that you would love to have but are not a deal-breaker if they are not included. Things like:

  • Pool
  • Attic Bedroom
  • Finished Basement
  • Multi-Car Garage, Etc.

What to Do

First of all you do need to be prepared. The seller wants to get as much money out of you for their home as possible, while you are trying to pay as little as possible. This is why having leverage is crucial when negotiating with sellers.

Asking questions, researching the area and the house, and knowing the local market trends will help you gain leverage. Take for instance a home that has been lingering on the market for an extended period of time. There are many reasons why a home languishes on the market and many of them are negative.

  • Home values in the area are falling.
  • There are a lot of foreclosures or abandoned property in the area.
  • New construction in the area is causing traffic congestion or noise pollution.
  • The house is overpriced.

Find out why the house has been on the market so long. Other questions that help you gain leverage include:

  • Why is the seller moving?
  • Are there any negatives about the neighborhood?
  • Is there a lot of turnover in this area? (i.e., lots of homeowners moving out)
  • Does the area get flooded in bad weather? (Does the basement get flooded?)