Being a first-time home buyer is exciting! Although it can also feel overwhelming—especially when you see homes flying off the market in just two weeks! Here are a few tips that can make your first purchase a much smoother and less stressful transaction:
- GET PRE-APPROVED!!
I can’t stress this enough. This is unequivocally the most important step when you’re trying to buy a home. Before you even start looking at homes online, you should be with a loan officer discussing what you can actually afford. The pre-approval is what is going to tell you; how much you can afford, how much you need to put down, taxes and what your monthly payment will be.
- MAKE A LIST
When I sit down with a client who is looking to purchase a home, I always take out a notepad and ask them to make a list of 5 features that are important to them going from most important to least. This list can include anything—price, taxes, bedrooms, bathrooms etc. This can help act as a guide when looking at, and evaluating potential homes.
- YOU WILL MOST LIKELY NOT FIND A HOME THAT IS 100% PERFECT
The reason for that is simple – it’s not your home yet, and only you can make it yours. However, many buyers are still looking for a home that has everything. The reality is, the home you purchase will most likely not be perfect, until you move in and make it your own. No matter the home you buy, you will ALWAYS put your own personal touches on it. This could be anything—painting, new floors, new siding, landscaping etc. sticking to your guidelines will keep you focused and get you the best deal possible.
- SELLER CONCESSION & FHA LOAN
Buying a home can be expensive, especially if you’re buying on Long Island, NY. The median sales price on Long Island is around $500,000. Now, obviously there are variables to consider that could change that. Therefore, it is important to know that there are different financing options. You may be able to buy a house with only 3.5% down payment, which on a $500,000 home is quite manageable for most home buyers today. Now buyers may read that and before they even finish this blog, change tabs and start their search on LIPropertySearch because they are so excited to find out they don’t need 20% to buy a home. While this is true, you can’t forget about the other half—which are closing costs. Closing costs can account for roughly another $10-$15k depending on the house, price and location. For this, it is ALWAYS a good idea to consider a seller’s concession. Essentially what that is, is a credit at closing that buyers are then able to use towards closing costs. How does it work? Well, let’s say you are buying a house at $500,000 that has $15k in closing costs. What you would do is have an agreed purchase price of $515,000 with a $15k seller concession. Now your loan will be based off the $515,000 purchase price, so you’ll have to adjust your 3.5% accordingly as well as your monthly payment, but relatively speaking, the change is usually very minuscule. Then at closing, you’ll get a check for $15k or already have that money put towards your closing costs.
The Pesce & Lanzillotta Team, at BHHS Laffey International Realty