First Time Home Buyers

What an exciting time in your life! You are ready to purchase your first home but you have many unanswered questions. This is a normal first-time home buyer experience. Relax! Together, we can make this an enjoyable experience. Let’s get started! Click here to have The Tharp Group begin to help you find your first home.

Seven Steps to Purchase a New Home

1 Set Your Budget

Determine how much home you can afford. There are several ways to determine this. A good starting point is to visit the website of a financial institution who you think you would like to do business with. Most mortgage lending websites have calculators which enable you to determine how much house you can afford. Or, you can always contact a lender by phone or in person to determine your affordability.

2 Get Pre-approved

Once you know how much you can afford, you should get preapproved. Many financial institutions websites offer easy online preapprovals. You will need your income, current obligations/debts and the amount of funds you have available for a down payment. If online preapproval isn’t your preference, you can contact a person to help you through the process.

3 List Your Desires

Make a list of your “dream home” desires. Include number of bedrooms and baths, overall style such as traditional, contemporary, or bungalow. Decide if you want an open floor plan, a garage, a small/large lawn and patio or deck. You may have heard real estate is all about location, location, location, so narrowing your criteria down to a certain area such as one near family, work, and schools. Even narrowing your desires to a certain community or subdivision, or perhaps even a street is helpful.

4 Select An Agent

Once you have been preapproved and you have your dream list complete, it’s time to select a real estate agent to help you find that dream home. Experience counts! You need someone on your side throughout the process. This person will help you in many ways, such as finding your home, determining a good price to offer, assessing your criteria and finding a match, and negotiating the deal with the seller on your behalf. It’s important to get comfortable with the realtor you are about to hire. Ask for references of past clients, and verify that the realtor has access to the Multiple Listing Service, better known as MLS.

Ask your realtor to get you set up to review properties online, on your own. Once you have chosen your realtor, you should engage that realtor to accompany you to any visits of potential properties. Your realtor is your trusted partner throughout this process.

5 Find Your Home
Once your agent has your dream list, they will search the market for available homes that fit your criteria. You will be able to review details of the selected homes online, most likely. Working with your schedule, the realtor will set up appointments for you to preview the properties.

Once you find that dream home, it’s time to make an offer. The agent will help you determine your monthly housing expense, based on the cost of the property. These expenses will include insurance, real estate taxes, maintenance, home owner association dues and utilities. The agent will prepare an Offer to Purchase which will spell out the terms you are offering the Seller and collect your Earnest Money.

When all terms have been agreed to and signed by all parties, you are ready to complete all the terms of the Offer to Purchase. Common terms to be satisfied would be obtaining final mortgage loan approval, appraisal, home inspection and insurance coverage. Don’t worry, your agent and lender will hold your hand until the Closing!

Click here to begin your home buying journey with The Tharp Group! Consultation is free.

6 Home Inspection

The home inspection will be performed by a licensed home inspector of your choice. Your agent will be able to provide you a list of home inspectors in your area. It is recommended that you be at this inspection to learn as much about your new home and receive helpful tips on maintaining your new home. Remember even brand new homes should be inspected. Your agent will review the inspection report and assist you in negotiating any repairs the Seller would be obligated to make based on the terms of the Offer to Purchase.

7 Closing

The closing will take place on the day all parties determined in the Offer to Purchase at your attorneys office. Several days before closing the attorney will provide a HUD Statement listing all cost to all parties to review before the closing time. Your attorney and agent can explain each item on the statement. When all documents have been signed, the attorney will record the required documents at the Register of Deeds office in your county.

Your are now the proud owner of your first home!