3 things first-time home buyers should know

Purchasing a home is typically one of the largest investments a person will make in his or her lifetime. It is an investment that might take place several times over a span of years. For first-time home buyers, it can be an exciting and rewarding experience, from searching homes online, scheduling showings and deciding when to make an offer.

Unfortunately, some buyers get in over their heads by locking into mortgages they can't really afford or overlooking certain issues in a home, such as expenses for repairs that need done. There are several things that first-time buyers should keep in mind and ways you can provide encouragement, guidance and support as a buyer's agent.

First-time buyers have expenses beyond a down payment

When first-time buyers find the home of their dreams, it is understandable that they may be eager to make an offer. Many people have already set aside funds at that point for a down payment. However, it's important to keep in mind that there are many other costs associated with a home purchase, including closing costs, as well as rental fees for a moving truck and other move-in expenses.

Being unprepared to meet such costs can turn an exciting first-time home purchase into a financial disaster. If your clients want to discuss overall cost when considering making an offer on a home, it's always wise to mention the additional expenses that may be associated with the transaction.

Determining which type of mortgage best fits a buyer's needs

If a person has no background in real estate, he or she might think of a mortgage in a broad sense, perhaps, not realizing that there are numerous types of mortgage loans available. Before making an offer on a home, it is best to determine which type of loan best fits a particular buyer's needs.

For instance, a military veteran who does not have enough money for a substantial down payment may want to look into securing a VA-backed loan. With this type of mortgage, the Veterans' Administration (VA) does not loan a home buyer money but, rather, agrees to back the loan in case the veteran's mortgage goes into default at some point. There are also mortgage loans specifically designed for rural home buyers or buyers with needs in other categories.

Buyers should look beyond the house itself before making an offer

What a disappointment it might be for first-time home buyers to move into a home only to discover that they are dissatisfied with the neighborhood or that the schools in the area are not up to par for their children. Looking for a home to buy for the first time involves carefully researching additional issues as well, such as the crime rate in a particular community, local tax information, public transportation or access to the nearest interstate.

It's wise to check out the hospitals that serve a particular area or the atmosphere in a local worship center, if that issue is important to a buyer. As a buyer's agent, you will do well to stay updated on local information so that you can answer questions easily or at least provide sources where your client can access information.

Your clients will appreciate your support

Helping first-time home buyers achieve their goals is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a buyer’s agent. Establishing yourself as a go-to for information on local amenities and other issues not only means you will be able to help your clients find a home that fits their needs but you will also likely enjoy getting referrals from your satisfied clients when they have a friend or family member who is wanting to buy or sell a home.

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