A little over 2 years ago, when I first started working for The Pugh Group, I decided that since I am working in Real Estate, it was the perfect time to buy my first home. Even though I just became a licensed Realtor, I still had no clue where to start. With tons of help from my broker, Sid Pugh, I managed to make this dream of having debt happen. I didn’t know how crazy this process would be, and since most people do not have the opportunity to work in a real estate office and see their broker every day during buying their home, I thought I would share a step by step guide on what you need to know as a first time homebuyer.
- Get Pre-Qualified
- The first time I met with a mortgage lender was almost a full year before purchasing my home. I had been out of college for over a year and had a steady job ever since, but the only credit I had was from my car payment and my small limit credit card that I got solely to help build credit. The lender I worked with helped me figure out everything else I needed to know and prepared me to be able to qualify for a loan. I needed one more line of credit to get a descent loan, so it took me a few months before I got completely approved. With that said, I recommend starting this process the minute you start thinking about buying a home. Pre-qualification is at no cost to you, so there is nothing that should hold you back from meeting with a mortgage lender.
- Find a Realtor
- After you know how much money the bank trusts you with, it’s the perfect time to start working with a Realtor. A Realtor has full access to to all the homes on the market and The Pugh Group website is set up to automatically email you when new homes in your criteria become available. As a buyer, there is no reason not to hire a Realtor, because similar to a lender, a real estate agent is at no cost to you. A good realtor knows the market, the buying process, and will hold your hand and guide you throughout it.
- Be Patient & Don’t Settle
- New homes are being listed every day, so don’t be upset when you can’t find your dream home within the first week of searching. I looked online almost every day for over 6 months trying to find a home that fit the size, price range, and location of what I wanted. My search was extremely narrow, because like any diva I knew exactly what I wanted, which was a home that was centrally located (Medical District, 5 Points, etc.), had updated features, and all under $150k. After seeing an endless amount of homes and being disappointed, because they didn’t look like their pictures or smelled funny, I finally fell in love. It just took some time!
- Trust Your Realtor
- Yes, I am in the real estate industry and yes, I can find out what homes are worth, but once you get attached to a home, it’s extremely difficult to talk yourself out of offering too much for it. Luckily, I had a Realtor who was truly looking out for me and wasn’t going to let me pay more than what the home was worth. The back and forth offers and counteroffers was extremely stressful, I was worried I wasn’t going to get the home or that someone was going to put in a better offer than mine, but after a few days of putting faith into my Realtor, he was able to get me the home for almost $10,000 below asking price. What a blessing!
- Be Timely & Reliable for Your Lender
- Now that your lender knows the home you’re buying and how much you will have to borrow, they have to step up their game and make sure they have everything they need from you, in order to get you the borrowed funds by your closing date. On the other side of that, you must be reliable and timely with getting all these documents to your lender. If you don’t get these documents to your lender, then it will be your fault when you don’t have a home to move into, and the individual you are buying the home from is not going to be happy about it.
- Have Confidence at Closing
- Closing on my home was the first time I actually had to put my signature on an extremely important document and make that huge commitment by signing some papers. Don’t let anyone pressure you to move too fast. Be confident and know that everyone is there for you. Take your time and read what you’re signing, ask questions to the lawyer, your realtor, and your lender, they are there to help you. No questions is a dumb question, when it comes to committing yourself to a purchase of that size.
- Be Excited, You’re officially a Homeowner!
- Today is my one year anniversary of being a Homeowner and I can honestly say that I am just as excited about my home today, as I was the day I closed. I truly believe if you follow these steps in your home buying process, that you will be happy and satisfied for years to come after your purchase.
If you need any help in your home search, call The Pugh Group today! After being through the process with them, I can confidently say that they do have your back and will do everything it takes to make sure you are beyond satisfied with your home buying process.