Posts Tagged ‘How much home can you afford?’

The Best Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

Friday, August 30th, 2019
Advice for first-time homebuyers
First-time homebuyer? Here’s some of the best advice for first-time homebuyers!

If you’ve entered the real estate market as a first-time homebuyer, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. And that’s totally understandable. It is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make after all! But where do you start? What should you know before investing in homeownership? Here’s the best advice for first-time homebuyers. Read on and put your mind at ease.

Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

In a seller’s market, inventory is low. That means bidding wars are going to happen. And the seller ends up selling for a higher price than what the house was initially listed for. That’s great for the seller! But this means you as a buyer need to be prepared and available to act quickly. You should also be prepared to lose out on a few homes before purchasing the home you really want.

1. Find Out How Much Home You Can Afford

Speak with a mortgage broker (preferably several) and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home. And don’t forget to allow for the monthly costs of homeownership. There’s more to owning a home than paying the monthly mortgage. Owning a home means electricity, water, gas, sewer, and maintenance.

2. Know Your Credit Score

First-time homebuyers need to know their credit score before doing anything. Lenders set their own credit score requirements and may require a minimum score higher than 580.

3. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Loan

While knowing how much you can afford is your very important first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range.

With pre-approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property.

Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close on your loan.

4. Hire a Buyer’s Agent

Reach out to and hire a buyer’s estate agent, someone who is looking out for your interests, not the seller’s. It’s free.

5. Communicate Clearly Your Lists of Needs and Wants

Make two lists. And be as specific as you can be. The more specific you are, the more your real estate agent can help you in finding the home that’s perfect for you.

The first list should include items you must have (the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.).

The second list is your wish list, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but aren’t absolutely necessary. Realistically, you probably won’t get everything on your wish list as a first-time homebuyer. But the lists will keep you on track for what you are looking for.

6. Stay Focused and Be Organized

Keep the following items handy. They’ll help you maximize your home search efforts.

  • Maps – One or more detailed maps with the areas you’re interested in highlighted
  • File – A file of the properties your agent has shown to you and ads you have collected
  • Notebook and Pen – Take notes on each home you walk through
  • Camera – A camera or video camera will help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you’re visiting more than five homes

7. Look at a Property with the Eyes of a Seller

Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive and negative features of the area? Think access to shopping, parks, freeways or abandoned properties, garbage dumps, noise, heavy traffic.

8. Visualize the House Empty and with Your Décor

Will the home meet your needs now as well as three to five years from now? Are the rooms laid out in a way that the home will accommodate your family? Is there enough light? What about outlets and storage space?

9. Be Objective

Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Too often, first-time homebuyers succumb to their emotions and allow themselves to become attached to a less than desirable property.

Spend time researching the local market trends and make sure your finances are suitable for a home purchase.

Purchasing a property should never be a rushed process. There are many houses on the market. Don’t make a hurried decision that you may regret later.

10. Be Thorough

A few extra dollars well spent now will save you big expenses in the long run.

  • Include inspection and mortgage contingencies in your written offer
  • Have the property inspected by a professional inspector
  • Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing (Check to see that no changes have been made that were not previously agreed upon. For example, a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale has been replaced with a cheap ceiling light).

11. Know the Home-Buying Process

 Review the home-buying process with your real estate agent

  • timing of a purchase
  • costs you need to be prepared for beyond closing costs
  • whether the market is a seller’s market or buyer’s market

The Most Important Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

Above all, the best piece of advice for first-time homebuyers is to choose a real estate agent with these three qualities:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Excellent communication
  • Quick responsiveness

Charles D’Alessandro is a real estate agent you will connect with personally and professionally. You feel comfortable confiding in and trusting him with the most expensive purchase of your life.

Need advice for first-time homebuyers? Contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] and get your questions answered. He is the Brooklyn Expert connecting clients with Brooklyn homes for over 30 years. He knows the Brooklyn area inside and out.


Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206
[email protected]