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Buying Your 1st Home? Here are some helpful bits of information to make the buying process easier.

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  1. Get pre-qualified with a Bank or Mortgage company.  Banks and Mortgage Companies offer different rates so it is to your best interest to shop around.  Be careful though to only let one company run your score, and then offer that score to the different lenders to give you a quote.  Once you decide which company you want to use then allow them to run your score at that time.  Too many hits on your credit lowers the credit score.  I have seen an online competitive banking site run someone’s credit over 20 times which lowered their score to a figure that was below the price of home they wanted to purchase.

  2. Make a List of the items you want your home to feature such as how many bedrooms, bathrooms or inside utility room.  It is best to get an idea before you go out looking.  Don’t rule out homes with update issues or cosmetic fixes.  If the location and the size of home fit your criteria it is possible to ask the Seller to do some repairs or updates before closing.  It is not uncommon for people to ask for new carpeting or the carpets cleaned before you close.  Sellers normally have figured some negotiation room to either lower the sales price or do repairs for the Buyer.  Keep an open mind.  If you're on a budget, look for homes whose full potential has yet to be reached. Also, first-time homebuyers should always look for a house that would make a good investment. You want a home that has the potential to increase in value.

  3. Don’t compromise on important things. Look a head and make sure the number of bedrooms and bathrooms will suit you in the future.  A great Buyers key is to visualize you owning the home for the next 5 years.  Don't get a two-bedroom home when you know you're planning to have kids and will want three bedrooms. It's true that you might have to make some compromises to be able to afford your first home, but don't make a compromise that will be a major strain in your future.

  4.  Neglecting to Inspect. It's tempting to think that you're a homeowner the moment you go into escrow, but not so fast - before you close on the sale, you need to know what kind of shape the house is in. You don't want to get stuck with a money pit or unexpected repairs.

  5. ALWAYS inspect your home during your inspection period.  Unless specified, you can complete your inspections within the first 10 days that your sales contract goes into effect. So many times people try to save money and either skip all inspections or do them their selves.  We always recommend hiring a home inspection company.  They are trained to inspect area that you might otherwise miss. Before you close on the sale, you need to know what kind of condition the house is in. You don't want to get stuck with a lot of unexpected repairs. Keeping your feelings in check until you have a full picture of the house's physical condition and the soundness of your potential investment will help you avoid making a serious financial mistake.

  6. Find the RIGHT realtor for you.  Make sure your Realtor is a member of a multi list in your area.  You want your Realtor to be able to have the best possible resources available to you.  Once you have chosen a Realtor allow them the opportunity to show you all the homes you want to see.  It is not ethical to look at a home over the weekend with the selling agent and then write on offer with your Realtor on Monday.  You must have your Realtor show you the property first.  A Realtor is working for you so do not hesitate to call them at night or on the weekends.  It is good to know the availability your Realtor has to invest with you.

  7. Buying a first home can seem stressful and overwhelming, it is your Realtor's job to make the process as smooth as possible.  For many people, a home is the largest purchase they will ever make, but it need not be the most difficult.

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