10 Tips Renters Should Know Before Buying a Home

Buying your first home is a huge accomplishment and a significant milestone in your life. There’s plenty you can do to prepare to make the process easier. Here are the ten things you should know as you begin your transition from renter to homeowner.

Buying Your First Home in the Greater Raleigh Area

You may feel a bit overwhelmed, but people buy homes all the time - nothing is stopping you! The Reeves Realty team is ready to help you navigate the journey and answer all your questions. By learning a bit more about the home-buying process, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to finally stop renting and own your first home.

Know the types of mortgages

Did you know there's a variety of mortgages available for different financial circumstances and types of properties? First-time homebuyers even have special mortgages available to them, and there are also programs designed to help borrowers with less-than-perfect credit. The more you know the options available to you, the easier choosing a financing option will be.

Understand the total monthly cost

Paying rent is pretty straightforward, but there's more to owning a home than just the monthly housing payment. Our mortgage calculator includes those additional costs: the interest on the loan, property tax, and homeowners' insurance. Your monthly cost estimates change depending on the length of the loan and the interest rate. Rates can be fixed or variable, so you'll want to consider that, too.

Save up for a down payment

You've saved up enough for a security deposit on an apartment in the past, and you can save up for a down payment on your first home, too. Make smart financial decisions like reducing unnecessary spending and saving any extra money that comes your way, like your income tax return or gifts for the holidays. You won't necessarily need a full 20% down, either - some loan types require as little as 3% down.

Improve your credit score

Building a solid credit score is a lifelong endeavor that takes time. The first place to start is knowing the score. Get your free annual credit report and see where you stand. If you need to build a credit history, secured credit cards – where you provide a deposit upfront – are an excellent way to get started with little risk. If you already have credit cards, pay down balances as much as possible to boost your score.

Decide what you can afford

So you've run the numbers, saved up for a down payment, and improved your credit score. Now it's time to take a step back and answer the difficult question about what you can comfortably afford. Even recently renovated homes may need additional improvements, so keeping reserve cash on hand makes sense. Experts recommend setting aside about 1% of the home's purchase price.

Learn about the process

Purchasing a home takes a bit of time, and there are a few steps to go through before the keys are in your hand. Working with the experienced team at Reeves Realty means you don't need to worry about the heavy lifting. Still, it's a good idea to prepare, so you understand the timeline and what you'll need to do at each stage. Learn what you can expect with our 10-step guide to buying a home.

Try to be flexible

Your first home is just that: your first home. Maybe starting with a condo or townhouse instead of a detached home is the right first step to fix your monthly housing costs and begin building equity. Or perhaps moving a bit further away from the city center will afford you a nicer home at a lower price. Be open to different styles and locations of houses, and be sure to consider the resale value of the property.

Secure financing first

Before you fall in love with your dream home, you'll want to make sure you have the mortgage ready to go. The first step is pre-qualification, which guides you to the right price range for your financial situation. The second step is a pre-approval, where the mortgage lender does a more thorough review of your finances and provides you with a letter to show sellers so they know you're serious about buying.

Build your dream team

Did you know even the most experienced homeowners still rely on the expertise of their trusted real estate agent? That's especially true when it comes to negotiations. Since the asking price on a home isn't necessarily the final price a seller will accept, having the Reeves Realty team on your side means we'll work diligently to find a price you're comfortable with on terms that work for you.

Start shopping!

You've done a lot of hard work to get to this point, and now it's time for the fun part! Browse homes for sale in the Triangle, narrow your search to only homes that match your criteria, and start attending open houses. The Reeves Realty team will scour listings and let you know as soon as we find something that you want. Before you know it, it'll be time to make an offer on your first home.

Buy Your First Home with Reeves Realty

Choosing the right agent is crucial to stress-free and easy first-time home buying. The right agent has the resources and expertise to guide you through the process every step of the way. If you have any questions, or you're ready to get started, fill out the form below!

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