2017 is approaching and it’s the time of year we make our New Year’s Resolutions. Whether you want to drop a few pounds, reconnect with old friends, or finally kick that nagging smoking habit, the new year is full of opportunities. For those who are looking to purchase their first home, the new year offers ample opportunities for growth and expansion. Our agents share with you 5 tips for first-time homebuyers.
5 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
#1. Build up savings
It may sound obvious, but when it comes to having money saved you can never have too much. Chatham agent Tony Guthrie advises clients to “save every penny!” Consider getting a part-time job or cutting expenses you can do without. For every time co-workers enjoy a lunch out, eat your brown-bagged lunch knowing that every little bit helps.
#2. Get pre-approved
Marion agent Bernadette Kelly suggests getting pre-approved from a mortgage company prior to beginning your search. You may be surprised by real estate costs in your area or additional costs that impact your approval. By obtaining a pre-qualification letter, buyers will narrow the price range of their search. The process will also uncover ways to improve your purchasing power.
#3. Know your credit score
Improving and maintaining your credit score is vital for first-time homebuyers as the score is a key tenet of the mortgage application. “If dings to your credit score are uncovered, it may take several months to see corrected items reflected on your credit report,” warns Bernadette Kelly. Some things you can do to improve your score are keeping up with all payments, not going over your credit limit and not making any large purchases leading up to your pre-approval. Many sites, including Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, can provide you a free credit score.
#4. Find a Realtor to work with
It is important to find an REALTOR® who you feel comfortable working with. They can help find the housing that meets your needs. Barnstable agent Amy Whiteside says, “We know the market intricacies and inventory; we know how to negotiate and advocate on your behalf. Especially as a first time buyer, it is important to work with someone skilled and knowledgeable. We really do care that you get the best house for you.”
#5. Don’t let emotions get in the way
Try not get too emotionally attached to a home, as they can come on and off market quickly. Amy Whiteside, in conjunction with her partner Dave Noreen, advises people to “not get too emotional about a home until the purchase and sale has been signed. This is a tough one, but sometimes deals don’t come together.” They also encourage buyers to keep an open mind, “After all, orange shag carpet can be removed, but you can’t change the location of the home.”
Whether your New Year’s Resolution is to become a first time homebuyer, move into a larger home or purchase a vacation home, Robert Paul’s talented team of agents is ready to assist you. Stop by one of our 10 offices, call 508.648.6861, or contact an agent today.