6 tips for buying a home as a non-first-time buyer
6 tips for buying a home as a non-first-time buyer
Tip 1. Be honest with yourself about your needs
You might be surprised to learn that the most important step in buying a home is getting honest about what you need.
We know, we know: it’s exciting to scroll through adorable kitchen photos and imagine yourself hosting family holiday dinners in your new place. But if you’re not honest with yourself about what kind of home you actually need, you’ll end up making compromises down the line when your dream house doesn’t work for your lifestyle in real life. The trick here is to get clear on your priorities and stick to them.
To start, take a look at your current living situation. What do you like about it? What would you change? Do you have a lot of company over, or are you pretty private? Do you love cooking more than anything, or would you rather order takeout? Are you a minimalist by nature, or do you like to surround yourself with things that mean something to you? Can you see yourself living alone for the next few years, or do you think that maybe one day soon kids might enter the picture?
Once you’ve identified what’s working (and not working) for you now, think about how your lifestyle might change over time—and try to plan for those changes.
Tip 2. Improve your credit score
How to improve your credit score
A good credit score is one of the most important factors in buying a home. If your credit score is below 620, it may be difficult or cost more in terms of interest rates or down payment requirements to buy a home. A low score can mean higher monthly mortgage payments, which can affect how much house you can afford.
If you’re looking to buy a home, make sure your credit score is strong enough so you get the best rate on your mortgage and you’re not stuck with an expensive loan. Below are some tips on improving your credit score.
Check your credit report. The first step in improving your credit score is checking that the information contained in your report is accurate. You can check your report for free at annualcreditreport.com.
Pay bills on time. This includes rent, utilities, and even cell phone bills. All are reported to the major credit bureaus, and paying late will hurt your credit score. How much does this impact it? One late payment could result in a 100-point drop for someone with good credit (690s), but it could also result in a 30-point drop for someone with bad credit (600s).
Tip 3. Make a list of all your debts and financial obligations
We’ve all heard that buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can do. But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be! In fact, I was able to buy a house in less than a month—and I’m going to show you exactly how I did it.
I’m not an expert; I just know what worked for me, and if my experience can help even one person out there who’s on the fence about whether or not they’ll ever be able to afford the home of their dreams, then it was worth sharing.
- Make a list of all your debts and financial obligations (i.e. rent, student loans, car payments, etc.). If you don’t know what you owe or what you’re spending each month, then make a spreadsheet or use a budgeting app like Mint or You Need A Budget (YNAB). Make sure you include all your expenses so that you know where your money is going and how much money you actually have left over at the end of the month.
- Get pre-approved for an FHA loan. This is probably one of the most important steps in buying a house because it will determine how much money you can borrow from banks.
Tip 4. Work with a real estate attorney to make sure you understand the ins and outs of the home buying process and protect your rights as a homebuyer
Congratulations! You’re in the market for a new home! That is super exciting.
But it’s also super overwhelming, and you probably don’t know where to start.
First things first: work with a real estate attorney to make sure you understand the ins and outs of the home buying process and protect your rights as a homebuyer.
When you work with an attorney, they can help you understand the terms of your contract, make sure all the required paperwork is in order, and explain any fees or other charges involved in buying a house. They can also help negotiate on your behalf, and make sure that you aren’t liable for anything unexpected (like a hidden lien on the property).
If you’re planning to buy a house in Massachusetts, definitely reach out to [attorney name] at [law firm name]. [he/she] has been helping people like you buy homes for over [number] years, and will make sure that this process goes smoothly.
Tip 5. Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting
Buying a home is exciting, but it can also be a little bit stressful. There’s a lot of paperwork to handle, and you might feel like you’re going into uncharted territory. But here’s some good news: there are several steps you can take to make the process easier on yourself.
One of the most important things you can do before you start house hunting is get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval means that your financial information has been reviewed by a lender, who can let you know how much you qualify for and what kind of interest rate you’ll be getting. That way, when it comes time to look at homes, you’ll have an idea of what price range works for your budget.
Getting pre-approved will also help you narrow your search so that you don’t waste time looking at houses that are out of your league. And it can give you an edge over other buyers when it comes to making an offer on a house—the seller will see that your financing is in order, which could make them more likely to accept your bid.
If this sounds like something you want to do before starting the house hunt, talk to a few different lenders about getting pre-approved for a loan.
Tip 6. Work with a real estate agent who understands your needs and can help open doors to new listings, walk you through price negotiation, staging, inspections, closing and more!
- Work with a real estate agent who understands your needs and can help open doors to new listings, walk you through price negotiation, staging, inspections, closing and more!
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
- Find the right neighborhood for you.
- Make an offer when you find the home that checks all of your boxes.
- Attend the home inspection with your agent and ask plenty of questions! Home inspectors are there to help you make an informed decision about buying a house.
It is important to work with profesionals when buying a house in order to protect your interests and make the most out of the time spent looking at homes and making an offer
Buying a home is an exciting time in anyone’s life, but it can also be overwhelming. While you may have seen a ton of beautiful houses for sale online, the home buying process is much more complicated than just finding a house you like and making an offer!
When buying a house, there are tons of potential pitfalls that can make the process unnecessarily stressful, expensive, or even risky.
Working with experienced real estate professionals ensures that your interests are protected throughout the entire process. Not only does working with a professional save you time and money, but it also gives you peace of mind knowing that every step of your transaction will be handled efficiently and to your satisfaction. A real estate agent will give you tips on how to find a house that fits all of your needs while also helping negotiate any potential issues with sellers so they don’t become deal breakers later down the road.
Anyone can take these steps to buy a house if they find the right place. You just need to remember that you are the one who is in control. With a strong knowledge of what’s in your budget and with a professional real estate agent, buying a home doesn’t have to be confusing. Most importantly, though, you need to have confidence that you’re making the best decision for you.