Television house hunting programs are entertaining, but they really don’t contain enough tips for first time home buyers . When you’ve saved up enough money for a down payment, zeroed in on a location, and decided on your housing needs, here are some things you really need to know.

  1. First timers ought to have been advised to get pre-approved, and not just pre-qualified. Pre-approval means a lender has collected an application fee from you and reviewed your financial situation and documents. But here’s the tip you need to know:Once you’re pre-approved, don’t buy anything on credit–no new car, no new furniture, no anything until your sale is closed. Doing so jeopardizes your loan package, which could delay closing or even terminate the loan offer altogether.
  2. Don’t fall into the trap of equating the monthly mortgage payment with a rent payment when you do your calculations. Home ownership involves much more–taxes and insurance, homeowners’ association dues, and the like.
  3. Don’t use all your available cash for the down payment. Depending on whether you’ve chosen a new or existing home, you will probably face costs that may be surprising. These include such items as window coverings, landscaping, appliance replacement (in used homes), or repairs and re-decoration.
  4. You might like the home, but check out the neighborhood. Everything may look just fine, but no one knows the scoop better than the people who live there. Talk to some of the neighbors. People tend to be proud of their neighborhoods and are happy to talk with potential new neighbors. Ask them what they like most and what they like least.
  5. If you’re buying an existing home instead of a new one, be sure to hire a qualified home inspector. The cost of an inspection will vary by the home size, room count, style, and other factors. But knowing about plumbing leaks, sub-standard wiring, furnace condition, pests, radon, and a host of other issues could reveal thousands of repair dollars you didn’t plan on.

We’ve worked hard to build and maintain a reputation for quality, sustainability, and community, and we’re used to helping first-time buyers in making their home choices. Please contact us if we can help with yours, and see our popular neighborhoods at Trumark Homes.