Questions to ask yourself before you buy your first home
Questions to ask yourself if you’re considering buying your first home:
- What are you paying currently in rent? Does that rent include any utilities. If your rent includes cable and water, keep that into consideration when comparing your future house note.
- Does your rental include maintenance and lawn care? As a homeowner, you’re responsible for both. If you don’t like to mow grass then you’ll want to look at homes with smaller yards. If you aren’t particularly handy, you’ll want to request a home warranty on any existing house you choose or consider new construction with manufacturer warranties are in place for the first year.
- How long will you live in the area you are considering buying in? You really should plan to be in your first house three to five years.
- Are you prequalified for a loan? This is so important. Not only do you need to know what price range you qualify for, but you also need to know what your total closing costs will be. First time homebuyers in our market often ask the seller to pay all closing costs and prepaids (taxes and insurance). A home owner is not going to accept an offer that simply says “all closing costs.” They want an actual number. There’s no way for you to know that number until you’ve been prequalified. An offer submitted with a clear dollar amount for seller concessions and a pre qualification letter will be taken seriously by a seller and the listing agent.
- Do you have enough funds on hand for earnest money, credit report, appraisal, and home inspection? Earnest money is good faith deposit you make to confirm the contract. READ MORE about earnest money. Your lender may required you to pay for your credit report and appraisal up front. And you will want to have a home inspection. Home inspectors prefer to be paid at time of inspection but some may bill you. A home inspection isn’t a closing cost so not all lenders will allow it on your closing disclosure.
- Do you have a down payment saved? Most first time homebuyers haven’t had time to save a downpayment. Fortunately there are several loan programs that will allow you to put less down. VA and USDA loans are 100% financing while FHA usually required 3.5%. READ MORE. In Mississippi, if you’re not planning to buy a house for 12 to 18 months you may want to consider a first time homebuyer banking account. READ MORE
- Do you need a real estate agent? YES! Navigating the home buyer process is difficult enough, but when it’s your first home, you definitely need someone to represent your interest. READ MORE
CONTACT ME if you have any other questions about buying your first home.
If you are looking for a home in Forrest or Lamar County, I’d love to be your agent.