House shopping for the first time is exciting, yet it is possible to quickly find out that you are in over your head. Today, it is always best to do a little prep work before you start going on tours of prospective new houses since a tighter home-buying market means that you must maintain a competitive edge. Make sure to add these three items to your to-do list so that you will be ready to make a bid when you walk into your potential dream home.
Establish a Down Payment
The down payment required for a home loan can vary. While home buyers were often cautioned to save at least 20 percent to put down, certain loans may require less. Talk to your bank or lender to find out what the going down payment recommendations are according to the market trends so that you can start putting the money into savings now. This is also the best time to figure out your shopping budget so that you stay within a reasonable price for your first house.
Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Over the next few weeks to months, you can expect to spend a lot of time with your real estate agent. Always choose an agent that has plenty of experience, and make sure that your personalities and schedules mesh. Ideally, the person that you choose should possess strong communication skills so that you can trust that the houses they show you are aligned with your preferences. Their schedule should also be one that works with yours. For instance, you may need someone who will show you houses in the evenings or on weekends if you work a strict schedule.
Determine Your Preferences
It is always best to keep an open mind when you are shopping for a house since you may discover new things that you like along the way. However, having a list of must-haves in hand gives you a starting point for picking out houses to view. Try to narrow down your preferences for a particular neighborhood along with the basics such as how many rooms you need. This way, you can instantly knock a few potential homes off the list and start narrowing down your options.
The home buying process gets complicated, but the hard work is worth it when you finally get to move the last piece of your furniture into the new home. By following these tips, you can make sure that your first house shopping experience goes well and that you have many years of living happily in your new home.