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  • Holly Keller

A Handy First Time Home Buyers Checklist

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

man standing in front of a white chalk drawing of a house, family, and car

When shopping for a first home buyers generally worry most about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. They aren’t experienced in the process and often don’t know what to expect when making an offer, getting a loan, or sitting at the closing table. To help educate these property virgins we’ve compiled a first-time home buyers checklist.

  1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. It makes no sense to fall in love with a property and discover it’s out of your budget. Any mortgage lender will meet with you, go over your financials, and issue a letter pre-approving you for a mortgage up to a specified amount. Some realtors won’t show a property unless they know the prospect is legitimate.

  2. Find a buyer’s agent. Yes, it’s now possible to preview most homes online and do much of the legwork yourself; however, nothing replaces the guidance of a seasoned pro. Realtors can assist with scheduling showings, pointing out defects in a home, and negotiating a purchase price that gets the home you want at or below market value.

  3. Judge the property on how it looks today. Many buyers are urged to look at a property’s potential. If you aren’t an electrician or plumber and don’t consider Home Depot your office, be wary of taking on a fixer, especially if you’ve never undertaken a renovation.

  4. Get an inspection. Even brand-new homes may have problems hidden from view that need remediation.

  5. Budget for an owner’s title policy. Lenders insist on title insurance, but that only protects their interest. Owners should purchase a policy in their names for peace of mind. Title insurance protects homeowners from missed liens or any other encumbrances to the title.

  6. Set aside extra funds for closing. Your lender will provide a good faith estimate of anticipated closing costs, but invariably there will be last-minute adjustments.

Good luck with your new home. If you have questions about what to expect at closing or want to learn more about title insurance, then contact us. Be sure to check out another handy first time home buyers checklist here too!

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