Buying a home for the first time is the dream of every American, a rite of passage and an incredibly nerve-wracking experience. Once you’ve decided you want to buy a home, your hard work is only just beginning. You might be excited to dive in and start looking for the home of your dreams, but not so fast. It’s important to move slowly and deliberately to avoid rushing into the situation. Before you view your first home, make sure you’ve done these three things:
- Get pre-qualified for a home loan. Getting pre-qualified serves several important purposes. First, it helps speed up the process later on down the road when you do find your dream home. You’ll have already laid the groundwork for securing the home financially, making the entire transaction easier. But more than that, getting pre-qualified helps you truly understand the costs involved in homeownership and determine how much home you can really afford. Better do it at the start than getting your heart set on a home you can’t pay for, or worse yet—getting into the home and falling into financial trouble.
- Decide on a neighborhood. When you live in apartments or other rental homes, you have the freedom to move every few months or every year if you don’t like the neighborhood, if you have noisy neighbors, if the commute to your job is too far. But when you own your own home, you’re also owning a neighborhood. It’s much harder to just pull up stakes and move across town if you find out that the neighborhood isn’t everything you wanted it to be. Make sure the location makes sense for your commute and your lifestyle, the schools fit your needs if you have kids, that the amenities you need are nearby. This is a long-term decision, so take your time to find the area that’s right for you.
- Find a great buyer’s real estate agent. Having an agent with lots of experience helping buyers is always important, but having a trusted ally can be a lifesaver for the first-time home buyer. They can help guide you to properties that fit your life, help you find the flaws in otherwise great-seeming properties, offer advice on negotiating and making offers and generally make the entire process go more smoothly. Don’t try to go it alone; accept help from a trusted professional.
Buying a home for the first time is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do. Make sure you do it the right way. If you’re looking for an Indianapolis real estate agent who will tell you the truth and lead you to a great property, call Dan Baldini and the team at Polaris Real Estate.