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First Time Home Buyer

Being a first-time home buyer can seem challenging. This guide will help you with the things you need to know and common mistakes to avoid with buying your first home in the Lowcountry.

  • Pre-Qualification: Talk with a lender and going over some simple financials to find out an estimate on how much you can afford to pay for a home.

  • Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step. Pre-approval is the step to determine how you can afford to purchase a property. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.

  • List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have typically the number of bedrooms & bathrooms, one story vs two story, house/townhouse/villa, etc.

  • The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have fence, pool, garage, etc., these are things you want but are not necessary.

  • Representation by a Realtor®: As a first-time home buyer you want to work with an agent that will guide you through the process. The Realtor® typically gets paid by the seller after you close on your property, so it typically cost you nothing.

  • Get Organized: In a convenient location such as a Google Drive, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:

    1. Ride around and look at the areas you may want to live in.

    2. The address of homes that you have seen or want to see

    3. Determine drive times to important places for you such as work.

  • Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Some people are better at this than others, measure your furniture so you can see if they will fit and where on any home that you look at. Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?

  • Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later. Buyers’ remorse is real, you don’t have to use all of your loan amount. You don’t want to change your lifestyle to live in a home.

  • Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:

    1. Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.

    2. Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.

    3. Request a second walk-through to take place before closing.

    4. You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a washer and dryer that you assumed came with the sale not being there).

All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is, I am here to help guide you along the process and make it easy and simple. Please contact me today.

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