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Help! I'm Buying My First House - Lessons for First Time Home Owners

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Help! I'm Buying My First House - Lessons for First Time Home Owners

Help - I'm Buying My First House - Lessons for First Time Home Owners

I'm buying my first house. How do I make sure I get a good deal? Read these priceless tips from experienced home buyers


I'm buying my first house... how do I start?

If this sounds like you, know that you are not alone. Plenty of people that are first-time home buyers don't really know how to begin the process.

The good news is that there is a lot of information out there that can help you learn the process of buying a home. Being prepared can help you go from scared to excited!

If you want to learn about buying a house and how to make the process easier on yourself, keep reading to get a little more information.

I'm Buying My First House... How Exciting!

Anyone that has purchased a home knows how it feels when you are preparing. It can be nerve-wracking, but extremely exciting at the same time. You are about to be a homeowner!

There are plenty of things that you can do to help prepare yourself not only for the process of buying a home but for owning a home as well. It's a good idea to think about these types of things before you start looking for the house of your dreams.

Buying a home is about more than just paying for the house.

The house that you may have always wanted could be in a neighborhood you hate. Would you still be happy there?

The house you love is located in a terrible school district and you want the best for your children's education. Is it still as good of a purchase for you?

Consider this... have you ever made a purchase this large before? You probably haven't! Because of this, you need to make sure that you know what you're doing and you're not wasting any of your valuable money.

If you want to know how to buy a house without making a huge mistake, here are some things to remember:

  • Pay off other debts first
  • Figure out what size of a house your income allows you to afford
  • Be sure you can afford a down payment
  • Look up neighborhoods you are interested in
  • Think about the long-term, not just the right now
  • Attend open houses with the help of a real estate agent you trust
  • Become pre-approved for a loan
  • Save extra money for closing costs

These are just a few considerations to make as you are getting started, but can become quite helpful as you continue into the process of buying your own house.

Qualifications to Buy a House

Technically, anyone could buy a house. Due to some of the more specific factors, however, only people that can afford a house are actually going to be able to get one.

Part of affording a house for many people is being able to take out a loan. Shopping for a mortgage can be stressful, but it is a necessary step to be able to purchase your own home. 

Having a pre-approval letter in hand for your loan is going to help you as you start the house hunt. It helps you be able to put an offer on a house because it is proof that a specific lender will lend you a specific amount of money.

In order to be able to get this mortgage loan qualification, you need to have a good credit score. If your credit score isn't good, it can take a while for it to get better, especially if you have a lot of debt to settle. Make sure that you are thinking about this well in advance of when you actually want to search for a home.

Hiring a real estate agent is going to make things easier on yourself because they easily find better houses and deals than you would see. It is literally their job to do just that! Find a real estate agent that you trust and know has your best interests at heart.

The Process of Buying a House

When you actually sit down to look at homes that are available near you, price points, and everything else that goes with buying a home, you may be nervous.

After all, it is a huge decision that requires a lot of understanding and consideration. 

Luckily, there is plenty of information that can help you get started in knowing what you need to do. In a way, it can serve as your guide throughout the home buying process.

Financial Situation

The absolute first thing to do, as has already been mentioned, is to be sure that your financial situation is good. You don't want to buy a house when you already are unable to afford basic necessities, for example. It's likely that you wouldn't be able to afford to in that kind of state anyway!

When you think about your finances, consider how much you have saved for the down payment and closing costs. Consider the extra fees that may be tacked on, such as paying your real estate agent, paying for a home inspection, and things of this nature.

It is important to realize that although you may have a home you love if it isn't within your price range, it will cause you heartache later. This especially holds true if repairs or remodels need to be done following the purchase.

Always think long-term when you are looking at big investments.

It's not always as clear cut as just paying the price on the home. You likely will have extra fees and other considerations, so be wise with your cash!

Beginning to Look Around

Once you have determined your budget, you can start to see if there is the perfect home out there for you!

A great place to start is to look at the neighborhoods around the area you are interested in. Where can you actually afford a house? What are some of the positive or negative features of that neighborhood?

You may find a home that the bank has foreclosed on, which can be an excellent deal. You may see plenty of homes around neighborhoods you like with for sale signs out front. 

If you have kids, you'll want to consider school districts and if you work out of the area, you'll want to think about your commute time.

Set up some time to visit the homes that are on the market with the help of your real estate agent. If you give him or her direction in terms of what kind of home you want, what your must have features are, and where you want to live, they can give you a lot of options to look at.

Make an Offer

When you're ready to buy and have found the home you want, don't wait! Make an offer as soon as you can. Other people are likely interested in it as well.

Determine what a fair offer would look like by reviewing the market in that area and discussing it with your real estate agent. Sellers have their own limits of what they want to accept just like you have limits of what you want to pay. After you have decided what you want to offer, your real estate agent will submit your formal offer.

Remember that if your offer is not accepted, you might feel rejected. While this is a bummer, it is not the end! It just means that house wasn't meant for you, but another one will be.

Ready to Start Searching?

"I'm buying my first house and I don't know what I'm doing!" may be a sentence that has gone through your mind a few times.

Now that you know a little more about what you need to be doing in order to make good choices, it will be easier for you to find the home you want!

It can be so exciting to search for a new home when you are prepared and know what you are getting yourself into. Shop smarter, not harder!


When you're ready to look at homes, consider checking them out online with a virtual 3D tour. This is a super easy way to see some homes that might be perfect for you without even having to leave the couch!