Buying a Home? Read This First.

helpful tips for the first-time home buyer

Jerry Paulus

"No Fred, I told you. The roller disco goes on the second floor."
"No Fred, I told you. The roller disco goes on the second floor."

Buying an existing home or building a new home may be the largest purchase of your life, therefore it should be entered into cautiously – especially for the first-time home buyer.

The first step would be to contact a lending institution to determine how much you can afford to spend on your new home. Keep in mind your income may allow you to buy a more expensive home with a payment per month that you will not be comfortable with. This eliminates looking at those homes out of your price range, and the disappointment that would have followed if you did.

The next step will be to locate an existing neighborhood or new subdivision in a location convenient to your present and future needs. Consider distances to schools, work, and shopping. Also consider undesirable features such as busy highways or streets and proximity to commercial or industrial sites, places with possible noise, lighting, or odor issues. Also check to see if there are any future development plans that may not be desirable.

After finding an existing home that fits your budget, location, and personal taste requirements, the next step is to procure an accepted offer to purchase, subject to a third party home inspection. Most lenders will require this inspection, but in all cases the buyer should demand such an inspection. This will point out any structural or mechanical problems as well as any potential health issues. The buyer can then negotiate with the seller to either correct the problem or adjust the price so the buyer can handle it themselves. It should be noted that the buyer will be in control at this point.


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