First Time Home Buyers: Finding the Best Homes for Sale

home for sale - an attractive option for new home buyers

When trying to find a house for sale in Stuart or any other city in Florida, it is important to know what you’re doing. Once you have bought a home it is yours, and the worst thing you can have with such an investment are regrets. Therefore, when looking out for homes for sale, our friendly advice below can help save you from regrets and ensure you will enjoy your new home for decades to come.

Pre-Purchase Considerations

What Kind of Mortgage Do You Qualify For?

One of the biggest limitations on buying a new home will be cost, and your cost will be limited based upon how much banks are willing to loan you. You might think a $500,000 home is within your price range, but the reality is that banks may only pre-approve you for $400,000. The amount you are pre-approved for can depend on any number of factors up to and including debt-to-income ratio, good credit, and more.

Looking at homes you can’t get loans for is a waste of time. Focus on the houses that you can afford. After you buy, there is nothing stopping you from making improvements on the house over time to increase its value and make it more appealing to what you want. While having the perfect home right away may be the dream, if you can’t afford it sometimes you just have to compromise now and build up later.

How Much Can You REALLY Afford?

Even if the mortgage company approves you for a large loan, you might not actually be able to afford that amount. Many first-time home buyers overdo it and get a mortgage with a monthly payment that is so high it keeps them from having money for other things. This can prevent you from building up the savings you need and can spell disaster in the long term. Consider both the actual cost of the home (including interest) as well as the monthly payment. A promise of a low monthly payment isn’t worth it if you end up paying double in the long run.

Making Your Selection

Research Homes for Sale in Your Area

There are multiple ways to find houses for sale in your area. Whether through real-estate listings, agents, or simply driving around neighborhoods trying to find ‘for sale’ signs, there is always a resource for finding housing. Leave no stone unturned, even connections with friends and family could get you a lead on a house that is just perfect for you. There are many options to choose from, and few things in this world are more annoying than to make an expensive investment only to find a better option was just down the road.

Contract With a Real Estate Agent

When making your purchasing decision, a real estate agent can help guide you through the process and find the perfect home for you. Expert agents know the neighborhoods in your area and can find the perfect spot for you based on your personal and family needs. They also have access to resources, listing services, and other tools that the average consumer might not be aware of. As such, a professional agent is guaranteed to find the perfect home for your price range and home buying needs.

Look for Open Houses

An open house is the perfect chance to get an inside look on a home that caught your eye previously. It is the best way to examine the interior and find out if a house has more than simply curb appeal. Consider going to an open house even if the exterior does not impress you – the inside might be a veritable palace compared to the inside. Looks can be deceiving however, so make sure you check every part of the house you’re allowed to check. Peeling paint, odd stains, corrosion, and other warning signs of damage should be watched for.

An open house is a chance to see if the home you’re considering has any damage or other problems that will add to the costs after purchase.

The Buying Process

Make an Offer

Once you have found the best home to fit your budget and needs, sit down with your real estate agent and determine how much you’re willing to offer. A good agent will help to talk down the price and get you the best deal. Furthermore, your offer should factor in your moving expenses and any repairs you may need to make. A $300,000 home that will cost $20,000 to move into factoring in new appliances, repairs, and moving costs is not actually cheaper than a fully furnished $310,000 home with only a few thousand in moving expenses.

Conduct a Home Inspection

Even if you have visited the new home through an open house, it still pays to have it professionally inspected. A professional home inspection will spot problems that would not be immediately apparent in a cursory inspection and can spot hidden issues such as water damage. A thorough home inspection can save you thousands of dollars in the long run and tell you about any necessary repairs before buying. Learning about this damage can also strengthen your bargaining position and help you reduce the purchase cost of the new home.

Finalize Your Decision

Closing on a brand-new home involves a whole mess of paperwork, down payments, and working with various people including home appraisers and more. Do not close unless you are certain, and if something was revealed in home inspection or you can’t come to an agreement with the seller you are comfortable with, do not feel pressured to close. A house is a major investment and you should not make the decision to close unless you are certain you will be getting what you pay for.

Finding the best homes for sale and making a purchase can be a daunting task for anybody. Real estate agents in the Stuart, FL area such as WaterPointe Realty can help to make this process less overwhelming and allow first-time home buyers such as yourself make the right decision.