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It has been a long time since I bought my first home, longer than I actually realized. When I first moved to North Carolina I had no intentions of purchasing a home, I was barely even 18, but when you fall in love with a house, it is hard to say no. My Dad and Uncle were in construction and had a ton of rental properties, so I had an understanding of real estate, but not a good one. I thought it made more sense to purchase a home and pay on it, instead of rent and pay someone else’s mortgage.
So, at 18 years old, I purchased my very first home. It was a learning experience to say the least. Closing was delayed for one reason or another, so it seemed like everything was in limbo forever! Finally, the deal was done and the house was mine. I had no idea about home warranties or home inspections, which in the long run cost me money.
From closing costs, or repairs and inspections, every little step of the way is important. IF I had gotten a home inspections I would have known the water heater was old and needed replacement. IF I had gotten a home warranty they would have replaced it for the service call fee. So many IF‘s, but I learned the hard way, hopefully you won’t.
Each step is a piece of the puzzle. Looking back, the biggest piece that was missing was a really good real estate agent. It was their responsibility to make sure I was aware of these steps. After that I was not turned off of real estate, it sparked a fire. After my first enlistment in the Army, I went to school and received my Real Estate Brokers license and have since purchased 2 other homes. I vowed that my clients would know EVERY step and I would be there to help them put the puzzle pieces together. There are key things that every first time home buyer should do, here are my top 5:
Get a GOOD Agent! Make sure they have experience and do not be afraid to ask for references.
Inspections, Inspections, Inspections! A home inspection cost can vary from area to area and the size of the home, but it is worth every penny. You can look at a home and see the foundation and the roof, but you never know what could be hiding behind the walls or in the attic. Even a new construction home can have problems, so it is worth the investment.
Don’t Fall in Love! It may sound strange, but it is true. You find a home and fall in love, you become blinded to any potential problems because you have become emotionally invested in the home.
Know Your Limit! This is the biggest problem I would run across when I was a Broker. You want to buy a home, you know what you can afford, and want to start looking for your dream home. Even if you know what you can afford, it doesn’t mean the bank will feel the same way. Before you even start looking at homes, talk to a mortgage company about financing. This ensures that you and the bank are on the same financial track. The worst thing in the world is seeing a home that is selling for $200,000 that you absolutely love only to find out you can only get financing for $100,000. Save some heartache and get pre-approval first.
Find a Good Mortgage Company! Not all mortgage brokers are the same. They are just as, if not more important than finding a good real estate agent.
Buying a home is an important process, but certainly not a simple one – Capital One’s new online resource lays the groundwork with a glossary of terms you should know, an overview of the loans available and more.
Capital One’s goal is help first-time homebuyers understand how the home loan process works, which is why they have launched a new online learning center that features the know-how they’ll need to become the savviest homeowners on the block.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.