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First Time Buyer Guide

Getting Ready to Buy

Find a Local Mortgage Company

Interview a local mortgage company and request a pre-approval. Keep in mind that banks might offer different alternatives than other lenders. Evaluate the options and settlement costs to determine the best option. Get an estimate of up-front costs and recurring payments. This also helps determine your maximum purchase price.

Select a Real Estate Broker

Find a real estate broker to assist with your property purchase. Choose someone that understands your needs. Experienced agents can help identify properties, prepare contracts, and facilitate a smooth transaction. This expertise can be essential to first time buyers.

During the Purchasing Process

Real Estate Showings

Only consider listings within your budget. This prevents the heartbreak of wanting real estate that you cannot afford. Home viewings can be time consuming, so keeping to your limits will also preserve valuable time.

Agreements

Real estate brokers may offer advice on offers and negotiating them, but they do not practice law. If you require a legal opinion, consider hiring a local real estate attorney to interpret legal jargon and add any desired terms. Do not sign any contracts that you are not fully comfortable with.

Real Estate Inspections

Do not use inspections to renegotiate price or alter purchase terms as they sometimes do not identify any problems at all. Also stay away from negotiating clearly visible issues. Such strategies are not usually successful and lead you to lose the inspection costs. In situations where problems are uncovered, sellers may offer to address defects, give closing concessions, or be unwilling to do anything. Try to be reasonable with your demands and sellers may be more willing to accommodate them.

Final Walk-Thru

Shortly before the closing, you will have the chance to view the property one more time. It is a good idea to schedule this for after the homeowners have removed their belongings. If any issues arise during this visit, you may negotiate them prior to completing the closing.

The Closing

You must have proper ID for the closing. Bring acceptable funds for any amounts due. Have your checkbook ready in case there are any final corrections. Upon closing, the real estate belongs to you!

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