First time homeowner... You will fall in love with some houses. If used look past the problem areas and look at thew basics. Painting etc can be overcome is an example.... Your first step is getting a home inspection. Home inspection by a professional will tell you if you really love this home. Dont let the realtor talk you out of it. It may be a $400.00 bill but save you many $$$$$ in unknown factors. Ive experienced this and listened to a realtor not recommending a n Inspection. I had many windows that had the seals leaking and need repairs. I ended up paying this. But the love factor overcame the good senses. This is to be done on a new home also. Sometimes contractors take short cuts. Your inspector will find these items. Good luck on your first Home buy. also look at the neighbor hood, location of the home. Location, location, location....
Make sure you have a really good realtor, dont go it alone. Give the realtor every single detail you want in a home down to the letter. You might not get all of it, but if you start out with everything, you can knock off what is least important according to many different reasons, but mostly due to cost.
DO NOT fall into the majority of people who fall in love with decorations. You want to buy a solid home, in the right area, that is built right, and that there isnt any repairs that will cost you in the near future. That info you can get from the inspector who usually works with your realtor to protect you and your investment.
Fixer uppers are more costly then they are worth many times, but if you can do your own work, and have a reality of what it will take, then steer clear of it. Although you know how to do these things, do you have the time?
Once you finally find the home of your dreams, have tons of patience, its hard waiting for all the paperwork, and the underwriters will drive you nuts with redundant requests for the same info over and over and over again. But if you have a good realtor, he/she can help you through all of the legalities and deal with the problems that might arise. They get paid to sell you a home so dont hesistate to put them to work. They are paid a commission so dont feel like your driving them crazy. The first home I bought, we looked at every home in the areas we were looking to move into, then we bought the second house we saw. But we made sure everything was seen and were very picky. In the process our reatlor became family.
I hope and pray you find your dream home, and you have a bountiful life. Enjoy the journey. Its so fun to have your own home. :)
Well said Joseph O!
A Realtor protects you, knows exactly how to look for what your needs and wants are and can access the MLS to see everything that is new, under contract or worth considering. Speaking from experience, a Realtor simplifies the process to make it enjoyable, as it should be! Worth mentioning, not all Real Estate Agents are "Realtors." :)
First and formost. Shop around for a loan PRIOR to shopping for the house as this will giv you leverage when you are ready to buy. You are PRE APPROVED where others will have to shop after and then submit their buid.
Second NEGOTIATE if it is a pre existing home based on age and condition. This will allow you the room to make needed repairs. Hope this helps
My best advice would be to fork out the money for the inspection, or try and get in included in closing costs, and maybe have the seller pay. It will be well worth your piece of mind. Beware or 2nd or 3rd mortgages taken out on a home you are looking at since the realtor nor the bank have to disclose that info to you. Try for a VA Conventional, they try not to let you get screwed. Inspection will ensure you have no lead paint, asbestos, chinese drywall, all appliances and wires are there or if they are missing. Squatters and thieves scrap out abandoned homes and first time buyers won't be thinking of checking in the attic to ensure all the wires haven't been jacked. Looks can be decieving, so be weary. Buying a home is EXTREMELY exciting, but take your time and it will be well worth the investment.
There is only one thing to remember when you buy or build a house.
GET AN INDEPENDANT INSPECTION if you're buying or HIRE AN INDEPENDANT INSPECTION SERVICE if you're building.
It's vital to get someone who know what to look for look for it on your behalf. No matter how good you might be, independant eyes and a whole lot of equipment that they use daily to bolster their looking pays for itself 10,000 over later on as you own and reside in the house.
And make sure to get independant inspection provisions written into the sales or building contract. A good real estate agent or a good builder will not dispute this one iota if you want independant inspections. The bad ones will argue with you about inspections but you don't want to deal with them anyway.
I hope this helps.