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Tips on Buying your First Home

First Time Home Buyers

Step 1 - Get a Preapproved Loan
You have to know how much you can afford to pay for a home before you begin this process.  Otherwise you could end up very frustrated and disappointed when you fall in love with a home (especially a Rancher) that you then find out you cannot afford.  In addition many REALTORS® will not work with you if they cannot confirm what home you can afford to buy.  Also, many Seller's REALTORS® will not consider an offer seriously if they cannot get assurance that you can get a sufficient loan. Get a loan preapproval from a Bank or Mortgage Broker in advance and you will then know what home you can buy.  The REALTOR® at will not work with a Buyer that is not preapproved.  He wants to assist, particularly first time Buyers, but understands he can only do so with a serious buyer.  And a serious Buyer is someone that has taken the time to get a preapproved loan.  If you are interested in a referral to a Mortgage Broker contact
Step 2 - Hire a REALTOR®
I believe in hiring a REALTOR® once your preapproved loan is in place. Your REALTOR® will save you time in the long run and:
  • A REALTOR® will help you determine what features, location, and price best meet your needs and then set you up with auto-notifications via email of any homes that meet this criteria from MLS.
  • the REALTOR® at will do even more.  Within minutes he will set you up with your personal web site that will display all current listings that meet your criteria in order of new listings first.  In this way you can avoid constant emails and check this site at your leisure. has the added advantage of displaying new listings 2 days prior to their display on the public MLS site!
  • REALTORS® will also check and ensure you are not looking at homes that already have accepted offers on them.
  • REALTORS® may also know of new listings not yet on the market and you may get an opportunity to view a home before it's listing is live on MLS.
  • Most REALTORS® will setup your showing tour and then drive you in their car at their expense.
  • Some REALTORS® will preview homes for you when their suitability is questionable.
  • REALTORS® will tend to spot overpriced listings and check with you before including them for a showing.
    Step 3 - Decide on a Home to Buy
    Buying a home takes time, energy, and focus and can be overwhelming for a lot of Buyers. It is not easy to find the perfect home - especially a Rancher. I advise Buyers to look at a maximum of 6 homes at a time.  More than that can present too many options for a Buyer and make it difficult to separate the differences in each home
    Buyers do a lot of research now online before actually starting to view homes. They no longer tend to drive around preferred areas looking for For Sale signs as they may have in the past.  In fact Buyers tend to start researching online an average of a year in advance of actually buying their home. Once they have determined their preferred location, and begin to do home showings with their REALTOR®, then buyers tend to buy their home after 2 or 3 showing tours.
    Step 4 - Make your Offer
    Some Buyers make the mistake wanting to offer a price for a home based upon the list price of other homes they have seen.  However list prices may be based upon a Seller's inflated view of the value of their home - especially if they love their home - and do not neccessarily bear any relationship to what the market will actually pay for their home.
    Here is where your REALTOR® will be a particularly valuable asset to you by completing a CMA or Current Market Analysis on the home you would like to buy.  Your REALTOR® will look at comparable sales of similar type homes in the same condition and location that have sold within the past 3 to 6 months. This will provide a more accurate projection of the value of this home in the current market.
    You may end up paying over list price in a seller's market or under list price in a buyer's market.  Your REALTOR® can give you a price range and help you in the strategy of making your offer based upon current market conditions.
    Step 5 - Do a Home Inspection
    In most instances a home inspection is done once your offer has been accepted.  This is one of your Buyer costs and you do not want to be making this expenditure unless you have assurances you can buy the home.  However in some instances - such as buying a foreclosure home - you may want to risk this expenditure instead of potentially risking even more by contracting to buy a home that may have expensive problems such as a faulty foundation.
    Sellers do not have to repair problems found during a home inspection. The home inspection is for the buyer's edification. However in most instances the home inspection is a condition of the contract that must satisfy the Buyer or the home purchase is not completed. Sometimes a Seller will make repairs when faced with the alternative of their home sale not completing.

    Other conditions of your home purchase/offer need to be reviewed and understood and will be explained by your REALTOR®.  Contact and he will be pleased to sit down with you to review all issues impacting your first home purchase.

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