Ten Tips for First Time Home Buyers
Posted: June 21, 2019 by Tamara Foote
Becoming a first-time home buyer is easier said than done in a lot of markets across the country, but what about Las Vegas? There is good news if you are looking to buy a home in Southern Nevada. Zillow recently announced the Ten Best Metros for First-Time Home Buyers, and Las Vegas was ranked second!
The research was based on four key metrics…a lower median home value which results in smaller down payments, a strong home value appreciation forecast which helps buyers grow their overall wealth, a high “inventory-to-household” ratio indicating available supply, and a high share of listings with price reductions. These key metrics make Las Vegas the second best place in the country for first-time home buyers. If you are looking to purchase your first home or know someone who is, here are ten tips to help prepare you for the process!
10 First-Time Home Buying Tips
- Check your credit score.
Knowing your credit score should be step one in the home buying process. It is an important factor that banks look at when decisioning your mortgage application and determining your interest rate. If your credit score needs a boost, step two can help you raise it.
- Pay off your debt.
While some types of debt can show reliability when you make timely payments, credit card debt can negatively impact a banks decision on whether or not to approve your loan. Banks see people with a high debt to income ratio as more likely to default on their loans.
- Save for a down payment.
While there are first-time home buyer programs that allow you to put as little as 3% down on a home, 3% of $300,000, which is the median home price in Las Vegas, is still $9,000. A Coldwell Banker Sales Professional can help you navigate this process.
- Get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan.
A mortgage pre-qualification is important because it helps you determine how much house you can afford. This is helpful for a real estate agent to know, so they do not show you homes out of your price range.
- Create a budget
Use an online mortgage calculator to help you create a budget. You will be able to put in your loan amount and interest rate to determine the monthly payments associated with a home. Then you will be able to use that number and factor it in with your monthly bills and expenses to make sure you can live comfortably on that amount.
- Research your perfect neighborhood.
A home is a long-term investment. Make sure you choose a neighborhood you would want to live in for the long-haul. Things to consider are noise levels, retail necessities, walkability and work commute.
- Make a must have/want list
Determine the features in a home that you want, then take that list and narrow it down to things you cannot live without. This will help eliminate homes that do not meet your minimum criteria.
- Find a local expert.
You have already found the neighborhood you want to live in, now find a REALTOR® who specializes in that area. They will have the most up-to-date statistics for the neighborhood and may already know of an available home that fits your needs.
- Have an in-person buyers consultation.
The first meeting with your real estate professional is the most important. Before physically touring homes, you will want to go over your purchase price and your must have/want list. This meeting with help your REALTOR® find homes for you to tour and ensure they are showing you homes that are not out of your price range.
- Save for move-in expenses.
Remember there will be costs associated with moving into a new home. You may need to hire movers, purchase additional furniture, store excess furniture, purchase window coverings, and/or landscape a yard. Be sure to consider these costs when choosing a home.
Buying a home is one of the largest investments a person will make in their lifetime. While the process may seem daunting, a Coldwell Banker Premier Realty Sales Professional has all of the tools and knowledge to make the process as seamless a possible.