You’ve found what you believe is your dream home – and, if you’re a first-time home buyer, you’ll get plenty of advice from family, friends, and even co-workers. Some of the tips you’ll get will be good, others not so good. As Dallas Realtors, we want to help ensure you have the best possible experience; here are a few tips to help you avoid the potential pitfalls of first-time homeownership.
Know your budget, and be firm on how much you can spend. Some real estate agents can be pushy, even trying to push you into a home that’s way above what you can afford to spend. If an agent is steering you toward homes that are above your means, find another agent. You are the only one who knows how much you can afford, and what type of home you’re looking for. Not only do you want a home you can afford, but you also want one that fits in with your future plans, such as saving for the kids’ college education, retirement, etc.
Maybe a fixer-upper is what you need. Have a friend or acquaintance who’s into flipping homes? You might receive this advice. While it’s tempting to buy an old home in need of repair at a great price, the money you’ll spend on renovating could be way more than you ever imagined. Additionally, a home that’s in need of substantial renovation requires lots of time, attention, money – and hard work. It’s stressful, and if you’re not a capable handyman (or woman) who can do most of the repairs, you’ll spend a small fortune. Sounds like a fun and challenging adventure, but it can truly end up your worst nightmare.
Trust your instincts. We all have those “gut” feelings at times, and if you get a bad vibe about a home you’re looking at, you may want to trust your instincts. For instance, maybe you’ve found a home you love, but that has roof or water damage, or some other issue that concerns you. Don’t let a real estate agent tell you everything will be fine when your instinct tells you it won’t. If you have a bad feeling but really love a home, have the home inspected so you know everything about it – the good and the bad.
Write a letter to the seller. Personalized offers are often the ones who get the seller’s attention most. First-time buyers with the FHA often get beat out by traditional buyers when it comes to making an offer on a home. When the market for sellers is hot, as it is in the North Texas area, sellers tend not to consider contingent offers – but writing a personalized, heartfelt letter about how your gourmet chef husband loved the kitchen and how the layout of the home is ideal for your family’s lifestyle, is a great way to capture the seller’s attention. Keep it brief, be sincere, and include a mortgage pre-approval letter along with your own.
Buying your first home is exciting, but it’s also tricky business. There’s so much you don’t know, and how do you know if the advice you’re getting is good or bad? Keep the above tips in mind, and let the Dallas-Ft.Worth real estate pros at Team Nelson help you find the perfect home – at a price you can afford.