First-Time Home Buyers
If you are a first-time home buyer, use the guide below for helpful hints and tips and learn how to avoid common mistakes when buying your first home in Northern Colorado.
- Pre-Qualification: Meet with a local mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home and discuss various loan programs that are available to you. Some of these programs include First-Time Home Buyer, First Responder, Veteran, Down Payment Assistance, and more. A pre-qualification is based on your application without supporting documents.
If you need help finding a local lender, please contact me. I'm here to help!
- Pre-Approval: A pre-approval is given after you've provided the necessary documents to the lender. These documents will be required should your offer be accepted anyway, so you may as well do it now! Plus, a pre-approval shows the seller you are a legitamately qualifed and serious buyer which makes your offer even stronger in this competitive market. Also, it says that the lender has committed to providing the loan.
- List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes - things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
- Representation by a Professional: You deserve and need some one who will advocate for your best interests. If the listing agent represents both parties, they are limited in what they can do for you. Even in new construction, your builder will have representation and the know every step of the building process because they likely have built 10's if not 100's of homes. How many homes have you built? Real estate agents are actually permitted to practice law in a limited capacity. You wouldn't go into any other legal negotiation without representation, would you? No way. Have your own advocate. There is a reason why there is an entire profession dedicated to helping people buy and sell real estate. Call me.
- Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
- A list or file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, and you notes of what you liked or didn't like.
- Paper and pen for taking notes as you search.
- A running list of features you like in homes you have viewed.
- Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
- Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There will be other homes, don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
- Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:
- Always get your own inspection done and consider having the sewer line scoped, radon levels tested, and whatever other specialty ispections recommended.
- View the property several times. Your initial showing, at inspection, and prior to closing at a minimum.
- When in doubt, ask your agent. I want my clients to feel 100% comfortable with their big purchase. Don't hesitate to ask for the answers you need.
All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please contact me directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail. Consultations are FREE!