6 Simple First Time Home Buyer Tips

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By Jessie Villanueva

first time home buyer tips

Introducing The 6 First Time Home Buyer Tips

Who doesn’t wish for their first personal home? You get out of the worry that your landlord will raise the rent or kick you out with very short notice. You have a living place where you can feel safe and secure and pass it down to your children. Searching for homes online and dreaming of your first home may be tempting, but you should invest in some realistic groundwork. Planning will better prepare you for the first-time home-buying process, especially when there is fierce competition and huge dollar numbers.

You should follow these six steps to ensure the best first home-buying experience: set a budget, check your credit score before a mortgage loan, explore mortgage pre-approval, search different neighborhoods, work with a realtor, and conduct a home inspection.

Table of Contents

1. Set a Budget


Never go for a first home-buying till you know your budget stats. The sooner you can get your budget together, the better. Budgeting may feel boring or hectic, but it will help protect your personal finances and investment in your new home. Remember! A balanced budget with a healthy savings account helps protect you against unpredictable circumstances.
• Look at your savings. Buy a home only when you possess living expenses of a few months and an emergency savings account.
• Review your monthly spending.

Some tips on creating a manageable budget for your home purchase include:

  • Anticipate new expenses
  • Improve savings and life insurance
  • Make priorities to reduce your debt
  • Be proactive

2. Check Your Credit Score

credit score

A good credit score matters tremendously in securing favorable mortgage terms. An excellent credit score means you get charged a lower interest rate on your mortgage. So, before beginning your home search, first check your credit rating. If you reside in the US, you can get your credit report free once a year from all three reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), but only through AnnualCreditReport.com. You should review the report for personal information, credit accounts, collections, credit inquiries, etc. You can boost your credit in several ways.

  • Pay your credit card debt on time.
  • Increase your credit card limit.
  • Dispute errors.

A higher credit score requires a lower down payment and lower interest rates. Thus, credit is vital to your home loan approval process.

3. Get Pre-approval

pre-approval thumbs up

Pre-approval means a lender gives you conditional approval to start potentially looking for a new house. It’s not a full or final approval. You will want to get pre-approved for a mortgage after cleaning up your credit and paying down your debt. Pre-approval offers several benefits:

  • You find out exactly how much you can borrow and, therefore, how much home you can afford.
  • Pre-approval marks you as a serious buyer. There will be real estate professionals who won’t work with you if you don’t get pre-approval.

For mortgage pre-approval, you need the necessary documents, such as tax returns, W-2 statements, bank statements, pay stubs, and more documents. It gives you an edge over potential buyers without pre-approval in a saturated home-buying market.

4. Research Neighborhoods

research neighborhoods

Conduct thorough neighborhood research before going for first-time home-buying. You will discover whether the area is the right fit for your lifestyle and needs. Try to make an informed decision before investing in a property. Remember that what may be an ideal neighborhood for one person may not be the right fit for another. Some tips for conducting effective neighborhood research are:

  • Define your preferences and priorities.
  • Consult online resources extensively.
  • Visit potential neighborhoods.
  • Talk to locals and get their reviews.
  • Assess nearby provided amenities and services.
  • Consider the area’s safety and crime rates.
  • Observe school rankings and education options.

5. Work with a Licensed Realtor

real estate solutions

A skilled real estate agent checks your budget and helps find you the perfect home that fits the bill. From making an offer to getting a loan, these real estate agents stand beside you and complete all the paperwork. This protects you from encountering pitfalls during the purchase process. Most agents receive a commission, and they get it from the seller’s earnings. Not all real estate agents might be perfect. Choosing the right real estate agent helps make the process smoother, faster, and more successful. Consider the following things in a real estate agent:

  • Experience and expertise
  • Negotiation skills
  • Professional network and resources
  • Customer-focused approach
  • Aligned goals and expectations
  • References or testimonials

6. Involve a Professional Home Inspector

home inspector

Conducting a home inspection before purchasing a new home is a blessing in disguise because it saves you from future risks and uncertainties. Find a professional home inspector who doesn’t miss any aspect. Finding the right inspector is essential. Ask your friends with homes for recommendations, or you may look at the American Society of Home Inspectors.
An inspection can uncover potential issues, ensuring the home’s condition meets your expectations. You can check any potential defects, necessary work needed, possible water infiltration, the appearance of mold, suspicious odors, etc. On a DIY home inspection, check the following elements in a future home inspection:

  • Structural problems
  • Roof quality
  • Pest infestation
  • Mold’s presence
  • Plumbing condition
  • Quality of electrical setup

Concluding First Time Home Buyer Tips

Always do your homework before going for a first-time home buying experience. Check your budget and credit rating, go for a pre-approval and a home inspection, and work with a realtor and research neighborhoods. Now, navigating the home-buying process has become so easy and stress-free. Just go for informed decision-making and be thoroughly prepared. Now that you are aware of these super important first time home buyer tips, be sure to check out our step by step home buying guide blog post.