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5 Tips for First-time Home Buyers

Anthony O. Kellum

Anthony O. Kellum – CEO Kellum Mortgage, LLC Advocate for Access to credit, Speaker, Author NMLS # 1267030 NMLS #1567030 O: 313-263-6388 W: www.kelluMortgage.com

Accordingto the National Association of Realtors the average age for first time homebuyers in the U.S is 33, a relatively young age for such a big life choice.That said, buying your first home at any age can be stressful and a time-consumingexperience. Fortunately, there are few crucial pointers that will help make thejourney to homeownership a less bumpy ride. Here are five tips to get you onyour way:


1.      Drawup a budget and stick to it.


Let’ssay you’re interested in a home, but you’re not sure it’s in your price range.That’s a problem, before you start browsing, it crucial that you iron outimportant questions such as, what is the most you can afford? What is yourideal price range? To help you get started, contact a mortgage broker or use anonline mortgage calculator to determine the maximum monthly payment you canafford based on the price of the home after your down payment. “Make sure yourmonthly budget includes the total mortgage payment with taxes and insurance andall so consider the maintenance cost of a property, “says Arlita Harvey, thebroker owner at Alite Realty.


Ifyou fall in love with a house but the monthly payment is more that you canafford, when including all your other fixed expense, it’s time to move on. Youcan also enlist the help of a mortgage broker to help you arrive at some figures.They will be able to tell you how much you qualify for and at what interestrate this will give you an idea of the most you are able to pay.


2.      Makea shortlist of your non-negotiables.


Beforeyou start seriously shopping, consider your lifestyle and values. What featureswould enhance your well-being? And what would make you miserable? From there,make a list of non-negotiables, says Arlita from location, to square footage,to amenities that you must have in your future home. This will also help guideyour realtor. “There is nothing better than knowing exactly what you want, butits hard to find everything in one property, “Arlita says. “The best way togauge your options is to visit open houses in the area and get acquainted withthe local market.

3.      Usean experienced realtor who knows the area and the market.


Yourrealtor can make or break your home buying experience. If you know where youwant to live, try and get a realtor referral. 54% percent of buyers found theiragent from a personal referral or had used an agent they’d worked with before,according to 2019 figures from the National Association of Realtors. Start byasking friends, and family who live in your area of interest forrecommendations, in addition Trulia, and Zillow will have ratings of local realestate agents.  “Arlita says. “A goodrealtor will be in your corner until the closing. An experienced realtor willalso have contacts for loan officers that can pre-approve you to show sellersyou’re a serious buyer.


4.      Checkout comparable houses to get an idea of pricing.


Firsttime home buyers should look a comparable homes in the area they want to live,according to Bankrate. Thanks to real estate sites such Trulia, Zillow, Redfinand Realtor.com, there’s no excuse not to research what homes in the area areyou’re looking at have sold for recently.



5.      Askthe realtor about expected closing costs.


What are closing costs? When you purchase a home,you will need to budget for closing costs too, not just the down payment.Mortgage closing costs are fees you pay when you secure a loan for your home,beyond the down payment. Closing costs and pre-paids can vary widely. Here is aquick look at some of the main closing costs: Loan origination fees, Appraisaland Survey fees, Title insurance, Homeowner’s insurance, Mortgage points, Propertytaxes, Closing or escrow fee. As for the realtor’s commission, that’s paid bythe seller, not the buyer. Happy house hunting!

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