I ve got the key

Take your time and know what you are doing before buying your first home

It is a great time to by a first home.  Not only are home values down and mortgage rates at historic lows but the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit will give you 10% of your home’s value (up to $8,000) at closing.  These three items can add up to significant savings for the first time home buyer, making it an ideal time to start looking at real estate.  However, there are important things to keep in mind before buying your first home to make sure this important decision is the right one for you and your wallet.

  • Get Information.  Most communities offer free seminars for first time home buyers.  There are also non-profits that offer helpful advice and information.  Visit www.HUD.gov for helpful tips and a list of agencies near you that have free information available.
  • Know What You Can Afford.  Analyze your monthly budget.  A good rule of thumb is that your mortgage should be 28% of your expenses or less to be successful financially.  Remember to factor in home owners insurance and property taxes into this scenario.
  • Talk to a Lender. Start talking with a bank or mortgage lender and get the ball rolling.  The process of being approved by a lender is a longer process these days and you want to make sure that you get approved before the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit expires on November 30.
  • Find a Real Estate Professional.  Finding the right real estate agent to work with can make your deal run that much more smoothly.  A good real estate agent will help find you a home that works for you, not against you.  A good real estate professional can also help you find a good lender if you have had a hard time during that step.
  • Know What You Are Committing to. During a real estate deal you are signing a lot of papers.  Know what you are signing.  If your real estate agent is having a hard time explaining things to you you might want to take the extra step and get a real estate lawyer to review your documents.

When it comes to buying your first home you want to make sure your are buying something you can afford, something located in a neighborhood you want to live in and, most of all, a place that you want to call home.  Take all of the information and advice you can get, filter and decipher it and make the best decision for you.