By McKenna Underwood
Buying a home for the first time is scary. There are rules, regulations and an array of little things that you just didn’t know about. Below, we are going to talk about the top five concerns of a first time home buyer and how to overcome them!
Houses are too expensive– The average price of a home in Northern Virginia is anywhere from $300,000-$500,000. That is a lot of money for those who didn’t leave college all that long ago, but don’t let numbers scare you. Buying a house is one of the best investments you can make, and the seemingly big ticket number is definitely worth it.
Finding a real estate agent– This is something that most first time home buyer have no experience with: choosing a real estate agent to help them find the perfect home. Real estate agents serve as the mediator between those who are selling their house and those who are trying to buy the house. They can help you figure out what kind of home you want to buy and show you the best options for your price range. Here are some helpful hints for finding the right realtor for you:
- Do your research- Experts say that you should pick your realtor as carefully as you would a doctor or a lawyer.
- Get referrals from friends and family- If you have friends, family, or colleagues who have bought houses in your target areas, ask them who they used as a realtor.
- Interview your Realtors- Compatibility with your realtor will make a huge difference in your first time home buying experience. You want to make sure you get along well, first!
Finding the right home- First time home buyers don’t always know exactly what to look for in their first home. They are still trying to figure out what they like and dislike. Here are some things to consider:
- 1 story or 2 story?– The closer you get to the city, this is not really an option. But if you chose a house out in the suburbs, this is something you’ll want to consider. Do you want to climb stairs or not?
- Yard or no yard?– This is definitely something you want to consider, especially if kids are on the way.
- School districts- For first time homebuyers with children, this is one of the most important factors in home buying. You want to consider which areas have the best schools and make sure you buy a home in that school zone.
- Proximity to work- Long commutes are stressful! Experts say that the optimal time from home to work is a 45-minute drive. So, if possible, try not to exceed this time constraint.
How much to offer- When buying a house for the first time, this step can seem daunting. Here is something to consider when making an offer:
- Determining the value– This is something your realtor can help you with. Find the comp survey (this will tell you the sales price of other houses in the area that are of similar size and have similar features to the house you are considering).
The Closing Process- This process, like the others, is typically foreign to the first time home buyer. Once you make an offer on a house, you go through a step by step process before you are the official owners of the house. Here is a brief overview:
- Receive the title and deed to the house
- The escrow agent gathers all the necessary paperwork and documents
- Mortgage and loan papers are signed and processed
- Final closing costs:
- Inspection fees
- Loan fees
- Title Insurance Premiums
- Government Recording Fees
- Realtor Commission
- Transfer Taxes
While all of this might be a little overwhelming, there are a lot of resources out there to help you on your journey to buying your first home! On February 6th, Dewdrop is hosting an event called #HouseCrush where you can swap your home décor items and learn more about the home buying process from our very own Dewdrop Founder AND Realtor, Kristine Thomas. We hope to see you there!
Were these tips helpful? Did you have a concern we didn’t address? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them!