If you’re thinking about buying your first home in the next 6 – 12 months, it doesn’t have to be a big pain in the neck. Here are 10 tips for buying your fist home in Roseburg Oregon.
It’s not too soon to start start planning for your emotional, exciting, and rewarding journey right now. Honestly, buying your first home can be a tad stressful, and the key to avoiding stress and making your first home purchase both enjoyable and exciting is preparation.
Keep in mind, you’re buying a home, not dating it, so it’s best to go into the home buying process with the understanding that you will be living there for the next three to five years minimum. It usually takes some time to build positive equity, and it’s no fun to be forced to sell at a loss because you failed to plan.
You’re probably already thinking about your dream home and which Roseburg neighborhood it’s located in right? I don’t blame you, like I said, buying your first home is a pretty exciting time.
Don’t Think of buying your first home as an investment. Instead think of it as a place to call home, to live, to enjoy. Troy-
My advice is that you prepare yourself for the possibility that you may have to scale back your wants in order to buy a home that meets your needs, most of your wants, and also fits your budget.
10 Tips For Buying Your First Home In Roseburg Oregon
The best thing you can do when thinking about buying your first home is ask for help. The tips below will help prepare you for the home buying journey, and will give you a much better chance of a enjoying the home buying process all the way around.
1. Talk To An Experienced Realtor
The best place to start is talking to an experienced Roseburg real estate professional. A good real estate broker will be happy to answer your questions, give you some guidance, and recommend good mortgage lenders. It’s important to work with a reputable Realtor to represent your interest when buying your first home. You will be spending a lot of time with the agent you choose, so make sure you talk to a few agents to make sure you get a long before committing.
The agent you choose should be able to educate you on the buying process as well home values in the neighborhoods you’re interested in. You should feel confident that your buyer’s agent will negotiate on your behalf and protect your interests. It doesn’t cost the home buyer anything to work with an agent, so it just makes sense to work with a buyer’s agent when buying your first home.
2. Meet With A Home Lender
Once you are ready to start down the home buying road, it’s time to talk with a home lender. Getting pre-qualified for a home loan is a step that needs to be done before venturing out and looking at homes. A pre-qualification will give you a ball-park amount that you qualify for so you (and your agent) know you are looking at homes you can actually afford, and not wasting anybody’s time.
With lower interest rates like we have now, you might be surprised at how much you actually qualify for. Of course as the interest rates increase, so do your estimated monthly mortgage payments, which decreases the amount you can borrow. Again, it’s important to talk to a few different lenders. I usually recommend talking to a credit union, a mortgage lender, and a bank.
Ask your lender about different loan programs and costs of different loan options. It’s also a good idea to ask the lender how much cash you will need for a down payment, closing costs, and reserves. You should also find out how much cash you should try to keep in your savings or checking account.
3. Set Your Housing Budget
Okay, this is where I see many first time home buyers make a huge mistake. There is a difference sometimes between the amount you qualify for and the amount you can actually afford. Be careful not to buy more home than you are comfortle with just because you qualify.
Your mortgage lender will tell you how much home you can afford, but it is important that you create a simple budget to determine how much you are willing to spend on a house payment. You’ll also want to consider your other future needs when budgeting for you home loan.
For instance, you may want to buy a car 6 months after you purchase your first home. This could easily throw your monthly budget way off from what you were originally comfortable with.
The experts recommend that your housing payment doesn’t exceed about 30% of your gross monthly income. You’ll also want to make sure you’re accounting for all the monthly expenses that are usually included with the payment on a typical first time home buyers loan; principal, interest, taxes, homeowner’s hazard insurance, and HOA dues when applicable.
4. Narrow Down Your Needs And Wants
This is where it can get a little tricky. It’s important to keep it in perspective when buying your first home. True, you should love your first home, but keeping it in perspective means it’s realistically probably not your “forever” home.
Most home buyer’s only live in their home for 10 years or less. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to list your needs, list your wants, and decide what neighborhood you want to live in.
You’ll need to decide if it’s more important to you to live in a particular neighborhood… or a particular type of home. If you can’t afford (comfortably) everything you want in your first home, you might have to start deducting things from your list. Most home buyers start by deducting from their “wants” list since the needs list always takes priority.
6. Stop Spending Money & Start Saving Money
This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing to me how many home buyers come looking for their dream home but don’t have two nickles to rub together. Don’t get me wrong, there’s usually a loan program for anyone with decent credit and income. My point here is to prepare financially.
Don’t make any large purchases, boat, four-wheelers, rv, etc, until after you close on your home. Buying your first home can be stressful enough without finding out you priced yourself out of the home you wanted because of an impulsive buying decision.
Here’s a good way to force yourself to start saving money. If you’re pre-qualified and you qualified for a higher payment than you are currently paying, start setting aside the difference between what you qualify for and what your current payment is. Doing this will help you have a little “emergency” cash. In addition, it will help prepare you for a higher payment.
7. Start Looking At Homes
This is when it starts getting really fun… and exciting! This is when you call the agent back and tell him/her that you’re ready to start looking at homes. Most agents will be able to send you email updates of homes that match your needs and wants, which takes a lot of the work out of your hands.
If you are interested in finding homes in the Roseburg area and want to be notified automatically as soon as new homes hit the market, just register for my Dream Home Finder here. There really is no faster way to be notified about new listings.
8. Make An Offer
From my past 20+ years of experience I can tell you, most buyers know when they’re “home” as soon as they walk in the front door! Buying your first home will probably be much the same, and once this happens, it’s time to make an offer.
If you really want the house and don’t want to take the risk of another buyer making a better offer, I suggest making a reasonable offer and not trying to low-ball the seller. All sellers are different, and some are more motivated than others.
As your buyer’s agent, I would typically talk to the listing real estate broker to feel out the seller’s willingness to negotiate before submitting an offer. If you’re not working with me, you might want to suggest that to the agent you are working with.
Another thing to consider is whether you’ll pay all of your own closing costs or ask the seller for concessions. It is not uncommon for first time home buyer’s to be short on cash, and ask the seller to pay 2 or 3% towards their costs.
Your real estate agent should be able to explain to you exactly how to make a reasonable offer, even when asking the seller to pay for your closing costs. Hint- you “usually” negotiate less on price when you’re asking for closing costs.
Don’t Think of buying your first home as an investment. Instead think of it as a place to call home, to live, to enjoy.
9. Don’t Skimp – Have Home Inspections Done
Home inspections, just do it! Buying a home is a huge decision and a massive amount of money. Wouldn’t you agree that skimping on the protection that a home inspection can give you for a measly $300-$350 is just silly? Of course it is.
Think of your home inspection as cheap insurance. Wouldn’t you rather know about any potential problems before you close? Of course no inspector is infallible, and sometimes hidden damage is impossible to detect, but overall it’s a good preventative measure when buying your first home.
Bottom line, don’t ever buy a home without having it inspected.
10. The Escrow Period And Closing
Okay, so you found your dream home and have an accepted offer… now what? Now you enter into the escrow period. This is the time frame that inspections are ordered, the appraisal gets ordered, and the title company starts on the title search.
From this point on, it is extremely important that you stay in communication with your real estate broker and lender. No doubt they will both need items from you, and in order to keep things moving you’ll want to return calls and provide documents as soon as possible.
A normal escrow period last from 30-45-ish days, but can be longer in some instances. You’ll wan to make sure you start preparing for your move, but hold off on giving notice at your current rental until you get the thumbs up to do so from your lender or Realtor.
This is also the point that you will want to decide on hazard insurance. The buyer’s failure do do this one step is probably one of the most common reasons a sale gets held up. Choose your insurance agent and let your Realtor and lender know who you choose.
A good real estate professional will have a checklist to make sure everything is done in time for final settlement.
Buying your fist home can be an exhilarating experience, full of emotions, but fun at the same time. The best thing to do is prepare, which is exactly what you are doing right now. The key is to know your budget, and trust in the real estate professional you choose to guide you through the process. Happy house hunting!