First-Time Home Buyers
If you are a first-time home buyer, use the guide below for helpful hints and tips and learn how to avoid common mistakes when buying your first home in Sienna Plantation, TX.
- Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home. This step, while important, is not as important as pre-approval, when putting in an offer on a home.
- Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
- List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a concern, etc.). The second list is your wish list - things you would like to have such as a pool, or home theatre, but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will help you keep track of these items as you search.
- Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.
- Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. These items may include:
Detailed maps with your areas or neighborhoods of interest highlighted.
A list of the properties that your agent has shown to you of homes fitting your price range and needs.
Paper and pen for taking notes as you search.
A camera (or phone) to take pictures of homes you have looked at, to help you remember your favorites and features you really liked.
- Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light? Enough bedrooms?
- Be Objective: When searching for a home, think more with your head than your heart. Does this home truly meet your needs? There are many houses on the market in Sienna, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
- Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you huge expenses in the long run. Discuss items such as the following, with your real estate professional.
Including inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing: - You will want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., custom draperies that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by discount shades, or a nice chandelier was changed out for a cheap ceiling light.)
All the above can seem rather overwhelming, but it's all doable. Having experienced real estate professionals such as Jeff and Whitney Sadler to represent you and keep track of all the details for you, is highly recommended. Please contact us directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.