There's nothing like the feeling of walking into your own home for the first time after closing the deal, but there are many steps to take care of between now and the big day. If you're buying a home for the first time, it's important to be prepared before you start shopping for D.C. homes for sale and making offers. Our real estate agents have the key details on what you'll need to buy your first home.
- Start Saving Early
Once you've decided you're ready to buy your first home, it's wise to start saving as soon as possible. Building up your savings will help you make a strong down payment while leaving room for closing costs and move-in expenses.
- Check Your Credit Score
A strong credit score will make life much easier when buying your first home and should allow you to get more favorable terms on your mortgage. Be sure to check your credit score, work on improving it if necessary, and avoid opening new lines of credit while you're shopping for a home.
- Calculate Your Budget
Deciding how much home you can afford before you start shopping will make it easier to stick to your budget and find a home that fits your finances. You can find home budget calculators in many places online to help you get a rough idea of your budget.
- Compare Mortgage Options
Invest some time in researching mortgage options from different lenders, as well as programs that can help first-time homebuyers like FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans. Compare rates and fees to find out which option will work best for you.
- Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a must before you get serious about shopping for a home. Pre-approval will show sellers that you're a serious buyer and give you a much more precise budget as you shop.
- Find the Right Real Estate Agent
When you're buying a home for the first time, you want a real estate agent who is attentive, ready to answer your questions, and available to provide trusted advice throughout the process. Finding the right real estate agent will make life much easier and ensure that you have a dedicated advocate at your side from start to finish.
- Pick a Neighborhood and Type of Home
If you already know where you would like to live, research the properties available and find out what type of home you can afford in that neighborhood. If your heart is set on a specific type of home, find out which neighborhoods offer that type of home within your price range. Once you know what you want, make the most of open houses and work with your real estate agent to find the best home for your budget.
- Pay Attention to the Home Inspection
No matter how much you love a home and how great it looks at first glance, don't overlook the importance of the home inspection. If the inspection reveals any hidden issues with the home, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to have the cost of repairs reflected in the purchase price.
- Don't Forget About Homeowners Insurance
Lenders require you to purchase homeowners insurance before you close the deal, so make sure you have insurance lined up before you close on your first home.
When you're ready to buy your first home, our local real estate team is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Washington, D.C. area.