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by | Feb 14, 2017 | Buying | 4 comments

Thinking of buying your first home? Do you find yourself reading and researching, trying to educate yourself as a first time home buyer? And then, of course, you have all of your friends and friends giving their advice. This can become overwhelming quickly, and you haven’t even started the home-buying process! Here are some tips to help you get started. As a REALTOR®, it is my most favorite and rewarding to work with first time home buyers working hand-in hand and educating them from start to finish!
You need to find out how much a Lender can loan you before you do anything else. You can figure this out during your pre-qualification and pre-approval. Remember that these are two different, but very essential, things. By getting pre-qualified, you work with your lender to find out how much mortgage you qualify for. This is determined through your financials that you provide, and is a quick estimate. Your pre-approval allows you know exactly how much your loan amount will be. You will not only know your price ceiling, but have a realistic outlook of the homes you can afford. It will also help your agent assist you with your home search.
Working with a REALTOR® will help your home-buying process run smoothly. They will walk you through all of the steps of buying a home, from your pre-approval process, your home search, making an offer, and closing. Picking a real estate agent is not easy and takes a little homework. Check with your friends and family, ask co-workers, go online and check out referrals and interview several agents before deciding on yours. Calling the agent on the yard sign in front of your dream home is not in your best interest, as they are working on behalf of the home seller.
Dream home, next exit.
Buying a home is the biggest investment one makes in a lifetime. The first thing you must think of is location, location, location! This will not be your last home so you always want to keep in mind when you do decide to sell and purchase another home in the future, how much your home will go up in value & will it be in a desirable location. Decide on what type of home you want, whether it is a single family, townhome, or condo. Your agent can assist you with a personal website search to make this easier for you. This is when you actually start going out and viewing properties!
Many would-be home owners only visit their new home after work or on a Sunday afternoon and make a quick decision about the home and neighborhood. However there is a better way to investigate a home. You should take some time to visit the home early in the morning, late at night and various times on the weekend. Take note of everything you see and keep an eye out for things, such as the number of cars parked on the street and the level of noise. 
Keys to your first home.
It is important to look past the surface and focus on the “nuts and bolts” when you are viewing homes. Is there condensation on the windows? This is not uncommon and a good agent will usually negotiate this with the sellers to have them replaced unless the property states it is being sold as “as is” condition and that the seller will not make any repairs. Check the ceilings for leaks, as well as if the doors and windows open and close properly. Inspect the exterior for wood rot, and for any cracks in sidewalks, driveways and steps that could cause trip hazards. Your agent will point these items out and many more while showing you properties.

Always be aware that your Loan Officer will be in constant touch with you throughout your home-buying process, and will be asking for documents all the way through the process once you have found your home and you are under contract. Make sure you are available to them throughout the process, as it is extremely important to stay on task during your Due Diligence period.

Other important tips to keep in mind:

  • Pay attention during the Home Inspection
  • Get a second or third opinion, from friends, family or relatives
  • Shop around for Home Owners Insurance
  • Make sure your credit is in good shape
  • Resist the urge to buy all the home you can “afford”
  • Pay down your debts and avoid incurring new debts
  • Do not go furniture shopping until AFTER you have purchased your new home

Need assitance in purchasing your first home?

Reach out today!

About Mary Severs.

Mary Severs a full-time sales associate of the Fonville Morisey Realty Brier Creek Office.

An active member of her community, Mary volunteers on the hospitality committee and in the classroom at Jeffreys Grove Elementary School.

Originally from Hermitage, PA, Mary currently resides in Raleigh with her husband, Mark, and daughter, Danielle.

Mary is a member of the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors, the North Carolina Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors.

Fonville Morisey Realty has 11 sales offices, with over 850 associates and employees throughout the Greater Triangle region.  FM offers mortgage, insurance, property management, title services, real estate education courses and relocation services through its divisions and partners. For more information about Fonville Morisey Realty, visit