Tuesday, August 15, 2017 / by Leah Olivotti
Concerns of Being a First-Time Home Buyer in Today’s Market
No doubt that it is daunting; the thought of buying your first home. There are so many questions and concerns that it seems like a near impossible task.
Rising Home Prices and Competition
We have all watched the Greater Nashville Area become a booming metropolis and home values have skyrocketed accordingly. In a time where many listings become multiple offer situations, your professional agent should be there to guide you and help you make your offer competitive while ultimately respecting your boundaries and goals. It is also important to realize that a great agent will encourage you to move quickly to schedule a showing when you (or they) find a home that may be perfect for you. Try to manage expectations and not to get discouraged...if you lose in a multiple offer situation, move on and keep looking. That perfect home will come along eventually.
Down Payment Woes
In many circumstances, as the costs of rent are rising, purchasing is the smarter option for many. With that being said, many first-time homebuyers are overly concerned about their down payment before considering the many different financing options. Some require little to no down payment, and there are programs specifically tailored to the first-time homebuyer that offer down payment assistance. The most important thing is to ensure your goals are realistic and manageable. Your lender (aka financial guru) through the process, will and should be there to discuss all of this with you.
Pre-qualification (and the importance of a pre-qual letter!)
One of the biggest mistakes made by both new (and veteran!) homebuyers is waiting until they are “ready” to begin the process of pre-qualification. Usually this startling revelation occurs when a prospective home buyer sees a property they like, only to realize they cannot manifest a pre-qualification letter in enough time to beat out offers from the competition.
Even those who assume they have the best credit can encounter issues. Therefore, it is always a smart idea to check with a lender prior to shopping to ensure you are in prime position to make an offer on that perfect home. Furthermore, in today’s hot marketplace, most agents and their sellers will not accept an offer without a solid pre-qualification letter. This is your golden ticket to prove you are in the financial standing you need to be to proceed forward and can be the ultimate difference between sellers choosing your offer over another.
Seeing Through the Surface
In many cases, and despite the rising popularity of HDTV home-flip shows, first-time home buyers have a difficult time seeing past clutter and decor, potentially shunning a property that would be perfect otherwise. When viewing homes, it is important to look at the bones of the home and not to focus on finding your dream home “as-is”. Sometimes a home requires a little TLC to make it your own (remember: paint, your choice of decor, and a deep cleaning go a long way!). Remember: you can’t change the location, but you can change the house.
The obstacles and mental blocks discussed above plague many first-time home buyers, and getting past them will inevitably lead to a fruitful and rewarding buying experience. Therefore, when embarking on a mission to find your first home and to make that experience the best possible, choosing a Realtor and lender that understand the market and your needs is imperative -- Happy shopping!
Until next time,