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First Time Home Buyers Guide

Crystal Barrow

Hello all future home owners! Buying a home takes a lot of work and is an extremely stressful experience. ( I will have an article on what worked best for me to maintain my stress level in a separate post). While I was going through buying my first home there were a lot of situations I just was not prepared for. My fiance and I were both clueless to the amount of hoops we were about to hop through to get our home.

It was a lovely January morning and I was looking at some homes on zillow. I had self calculated and had briefly spoken with a loan agent so I had a general idea of what we would possibly qualify for we were looking at the homes in that price range but it seemed that every-time we were able to see a home someone already put a bid in and snatched that house up. My fiance encouraged me to reach out to the loan officer and we found out we were looking at properties that were a lot less than we qualified for. When we found that out and told our realtor she was ready with a bunch of new properties. This boost in what we qualified for made it a little easier to find the home of our dreams. There was still the competitive market.

Tip 1: Talk to a professional loan officer and verify what you qualify for.
Just because you qualify for that amount doesnt mean that you need to buy a home at your maximum. There is such a thing as being home poor.

Tip 2: Know your market.
There is a time and place to play hard ball but during the time that my fiance and i were buying our home we went in a little higher than asking to show we were extremely interested. We also knew the potential growth in equity we would almost immediately see. We had a great realtor as well that was able to express our hopes of raising a family in this home.

Tip 3: Shop around! Talk to a lot of loan people at the beginning so you dont have to switch it up last minutes
Make sure from the beginning you talk to a lot of different loan agents to get a quote. We made this mistake and there could have been a lot less tears and stress.
If your loan agent suggests that you get a FHA loan you should keep in mind that you will have to pay mortgage insurance longer than you would for a 5% down conventional loan. I will go into more depth about the difference between an FHA loan and a conventional loan in a different post.

Tip 4: Keep constant communication with your realtor, loan officer, and escrow company to make sure they are communicating as well

Tip 5: Have someone proof read the documents as well and sign them as soon as possible
Everyone makes mistakes.

*Buying a home is an extremely complex process! I am not a professional in any areas that involve buying a home. These are just a few tips I wish I knew before buying a home. I dont think either of us were prepared for the craziness of buying our first home. Every situation is unique and offers a great learning experience. Thank goodness my mom, a previous home buyer, was there every step of the way. BONUS TIP: Only take home buying advise from someone who has actually purchased a home.

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