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5 Critical steps first-time homebuyers shouldn’t overlook

5 Critical steps first-time homebuyers shouldn’t overlook

If you’re a newbie, a misstep or two would be okay because these help in the learning process. But a mistake in buying a home can be quite costly and should be avoided. It will benefit first-time homebuyers a lot if they know the biggest errors that can be committed when shopping for homes for sale in Livermore, or in Pleasanton, CA. That way, moving forward with the home purchase can be done with more confidence.

Here are five items that you should never overlook as a first-time homebuyer.

Getting pre-approved

Before taking any step forward with your home purchase decision, you need to know how much house you can afford. The best way to do that is to get pre-approved. Be sure to get a pre-approval and not just a pre-qualification. Being pre-qualified means that you can borrow a certain loan amount based on an informal evaluation of your financial capacity. But with a pre-approval, you have passed more stringent criteria regarding your ability to secure the necessary financing for your purchase. You gain more negotiating power since sellers prefer working with those who they know can pay.

Paying a down payment of 20% or more

Many lenders entice borrowers with low to zero down payment mortgages, but before you take this tempting offer, understand that these loan types often carry much higher interest rates than those with more traditional payment terms. Lenders usually reserve their best rates for borrowers who can make the biggest down payments, so it will be wiser for you to delay your home purchase plans until you can put down at least 20%.

Counting the total cost of homeownership

Aside from the mortgage itself, there are other bills to pay, including insurance, utilities, taxes, and upkeep. You need to do your computations and consider the hidden costs of owning a home to ensure you can handle the monthly cash outflows. Remember that mortgages take years to pay off, and you don’t want to end up financially strained by the process.

Having the home inspected by a professional

It’s worth shelling out a few extra dollars for a professional home inspection to ensure the home you’re buying is free of issues and costly repairs. This is a process that’s not to be set aside as doing so alerts you to critical issues that would otherwise go undetected.

Some home shoppers skip the home inspection to save on costs and end up regretting their decision big-time once the home’s defects start to make a dent on their lifestyle, finances, and even their safety. The home inspection becomes even more necessary when buying an older home.

Considering lifestyle fit

When shopping for a home, it’s important to see how well it suits your lifestyle. How’s the commute to work? What’s the neighborhood like? If you’re planning to have kids soon, will the space be enough for your growing family to live comfortably? Knowing the answers to these questions will not only make your purchase decision easier, but it will also make your home more attractive to
buyers should you decide to sell it in the future.

As a real estate agent who has helped many first-time homebuyers enjoy their purchases for years to come, I can help you shop for homes for sale in Pleasanton, CA and surrounding areas to find the one that suits your needs and wants. Call me, Alice Chen, at 925.216.0676 or leave me a message here and let’s go over your home purchase plans today.