Buying a home for the first time is a BIG deal! You can’t return a home the way that you might return a pair of shoes, so you need to know exactly what you are getting. By having good people in your corner, you can ensure that your first home purchase is a successful one!
1. They Don’t Find the Right Real Estate Agent
So many buyers get wrapped up in the excitement of buying a home. It’s really fun to hop on to Zillow and Realtor.com and look at all the possibilities. Before you start requesting showings, find the right real estate agent for you. Zillow matches you up with whoever when you request a showing, and you know nothing about them. You don’t even know if this is the agent’s first home!
Ask people who you trust for recommendations: friends, family, co-workers. When you ask them who they recommend, also ask them if there is anybody who they would not suggest. Sometimes knowing who not to work with is as helpful than knowing who to work with. Finding an experienced realtor should be one of the first steps of the home buying process.
2. They Aren’t Pre-Approved
Getting pre approved for a mortgage helps you to understand what you can actually afford. This is another instance where getting over excited about home buying and spending hours sifting through Zillow can be damaging to the process. Zillow shows a, “Zestimate” of what you can expect to pay for a home, and may lead you to believe that you can afford a home that is completely out of your budget. The Zestimate is not accurate. It doesn’t consider things like mortgage insurance and taxes.
Rather than putting stock in the Zestimate start shopping around for a good lender. Lenders pull your credit, which often puts a little dent in your credit score. There is a grace period after that first pull in which other pulls will not damage your credit. This allows buyers to shop around among lenders. A common misconception is that rates are the same among lenders, and that is false! Lenders have to compete with each other, so shop around for better rates.
If you started your home buying experience by finding a experienced realtor, they should be able to suggest a good lender to you. Realtors do not receive commission for suggesting specific lenders, they just want to help their buyers find their dream home at a price they can afford!
3. They Don’t Look For a Good Home Inspector
Having a good home inspector is crucial! Home inspectors walk through the home and property and make sure that the condition of the home and property is known. This protects buyers from any unforeseen damages, issues or future costs. Michigan does not have any licensing regulation or laws for inspectors. That means that anybody can be an inspector. We spoke with Jason Murton of Accurate Home Inspections in DeWitt and his recommendation is that buyers select an inspector with ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) Certification. To be ASHI certified, inspectors must pass an extremely challenging exam (this exam is what some states use for their licensing) and perform 250 paid, peer reviewed home inspections.
Friends and family may be able to suggest a good home inspector. Your real estate agent should have three or four inspectors that they can recommend as well.
We want you to be successful in your first home purchase. It is a daunting task, but can be made easier with the right help. If you’re looking to buy your first home, avoid mistakes by selecting the right agent, getting pre-approved, and finding a good home inspector.
Step 1 is right here!
Contact us today to discuss what you’re looking for in a home!