Wednesday, February 6, 2019 / by Holly Northup
As a first-time homebuyer, chances are you are unaware of the many different aspects associated with buying a home. While this is normal, it is in your best interest to learn as much as you can before you begin your journey to becoming a homeowner. Below, we’ve provided some practical advice for buying your first home in the Austin area.
Use a buyer’s agent
As a buyer, your agent’s fees are paid by the seller. For you this means using a buyer’s agent is only a benefit to you – so use them! They can help you search for homes within your price range and neighborhood of choice, as well as negotiate the best deal on your behalf.
Think location and price
Always live within your means. With this in mind, determine a budget before you set out on your home search. Buying a home for the maximum amount you can afford may prevent you from fulfilling your long-term plans and retirement.
Location. Location. Location.
While this home won’t be upgraded-to-the-max, it should be in a good location. The home should be in a neighborhood with well-maintained homes, low crime rates, a good school district and close to local amenities (shopping, parks, etc.). Keep in mind; you may pay more money for a smaller home in a good neighborhood. But, a good neighborhood is always a sounder investment than a larger home in a lesser neighborhood.
Remember the closing costs
While most remember the down payment, many first-time homebuyers make the mistake of forgetting, or simply not knowing, about the closing costs. Make sure to budget for this cost. How much should you expect to pay? In general, closing costs equal two to five percent of the purchase price of the home. Here’s an example: if you buy a home worth $225,000, the closing costs, due at closing, are between $4,500 and $11,250. These costs are not a nominal value and as such should be taken into consideration before buying your first home.
Look to the future
When buying a home, thinking about its future selling potential. While we know this is weird to consider when buying, it will come to your advantage five or ten years down the road when you want to sell. Think about the pros and cons of the property as well as the following factors: school district, surrounding properties, proximity to amenities, etc.
The home inspection matters
Did you find, “the one?” If so, it’s time to put in an offer. When you do, make the offer contingent upon a home inspection and include the following with the general inspection: radon, pest and sewer. Hire a reputable inspector and be present during the home inspection. This will allow you to understand and ask questions about anything and everything. At the end of the inspection, the inspector will give you estimates on how much it will cost to fix or replace items. From here, decide which items you would like to ask the seller to repair or ask for a credit from the seller to complete some of the repairs. The inspection is of the utmost importance as you don’t want to move into a home only to realize it is in need of several costly repairs.
While buying your first home is exciting, remember it is an investment. One you want to pay off in the years to come. Follow these tips for a successful investment and always trust your REALTOR®!
Do you have any questions about purchasing your first home? Give us a call. We would be honored to help you!