What You Need to Know as a First-Time Home Buyer

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Purchasing a home can seem like an intimidating endeavor, especially if you have no idea where to start. It is understandable: you want to find a home that can meet all your needs and preferences at a price you can afford, which is no small task.

One of the best ways to prepare for buying a home is to simply gather more information on the home buying process, to allow you to make well-informed decisions during your search. In this first-time home buyer guide, we give a few important things you need to know when purchasing a new home.

A little bit of patience goes a long way

The search for a home does not just involve going through listings and attending multiple showings. Some of the steps can be time-consuming, such as getting approved for a mortgage or completing a professional home inspection. The entire process typically lasts from 30 to 90 days, but many factors affect the duration of the transaction.

Prepare to be patient before you start your search. Exercising patience is the key to finding the perfect home.

Find a qualified real estate agent to represent you

Although the home buying process can seem daunting, working with a qualified real estate agent to represent you can take the headache and stress out of the process. Your agent will be knowledgeable about first time home buyer programs and can help point you in the right direction for obtaining financing and setting your budget. Did you know that in most cases your agent’s commission is paid by the seller or listing broker of a home you may purchase? Our team at Windseeker Realty is here to guide you through every step of the process and represent your best interests in the buying process.

Take advantage of technology to stay organized

Home buying involves a lot of paperwork and documentation. Misplacing an important document or not having the required paperwork when you need it can delay the entire process.

You can avoid potential problems by keeping a digital record of everything. Take a photo or scan everything including proof of assets, credit card debt information, and pay stub statements. Save all of it on your phone or upload them to cloud storage, so you will have a backup copy just in case you lose the original.

Expect to handle a lot of things during the home buying process. Being organized will help you stay on top of everything. Your buyer’s agent (real estate agent representing you in the transaction), will help you keep dates or deadlines and documents organized and on track.

Choose the right location

A home’s lifestyle component is not solely in its features, square footage, or number of bedrooms or bathrooms. The location you choose will determine your lifestyle as well.

Beyond factors such as how much you will need to pay in taxes or where your kids will go to school, where you choose to live will also determine what type of activities or destinations you can enjoy during your spare time.

Book a room at a nearby hotel or vacation rental for a weekend or at least visit the area during different times of the day and try to see whether or not the area is ideal for your lifestyle.

Be flexible with features

In order to find the right home, you need to find the right balance between what type of features you want and what you can afford. Creating a list of features you would like to have is a good idea, but keep in mind that you might not be able to find all of those features in a home within your budget.

Review your list and determine those that are must-have features and which ones are not as important. You might also come across homes with features you did not know you wanted in the first place, which means you may have to adjust your goals or priorities.

Consider other mortgage options

A home is perhaps the biggest purchase you will make at this point, so it is important to consider all available mortgage options. Taking the time to shop around can help you save money, as different rates are offered by different banks or credit unions.

Be proactive – start the mortgage process as soon as you are fully committed to purchasing a home. Obtaining preapproval for a mortgage will tell you how much you can afford and will show sellers that you are a serious buyer.

Stay within your budget

Avoid purchasing a home beyond your means, as this can lead to serious financial problems down the line. Work out a realistic budget and stick to it. If you are not quite sure how much you can afford, you can use online mortgage calculators like this one from Zillow.

These are just a few important things you need to know as a first-time home buyer. If you need help searching for the perfect home in Bayfield, Washburn, Cornucopia, and other desirable communities in Wisconsin, talk to us at Windseeker Realty! Call 715-779-5000, or send an email to Agent(at)WindseekerRealty(dotted)com

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