How To: Discover the Best Neighborhoods for a First Time Home Buyer
The thought of buying a home for the first time home buyer can be intimidating. All the news about real estate prices and markets and the prospect of signing a thirty year mortgage is a daunting experience. How can you break it down into some manageable steps? Here's a look at how a first time home buyer like you can get started finding the right place.
Line Up Your Mortgage
While it isn’t exactly looking for a house, getting your financing in place before you look at anything is a smart step. You will then know just how much you can spend. There is no worse feeling in the world than to find the home of your dreams and then to find that the bank won’t lend you quite that much. If you know what you can spend, you will only look at homes that you can actually buy.
This is the mortgage pre-approval step. It's vital in the process for many reasons, including the fact that many real estate agents in today's housing market will only show homes to pre-approved borrowers.
Nothing beats driving through a neighborhood and just watching. What kind of cars do the neighbors drive – are their homes in good repair – are there kids playing outdoors. Is this the kind of neighborhood that you can see you and your family living in?
Check The Listings
Let your Realtor® or real estate agent help you check the listings in the neighborhood. Have them identify which neighborhoods have homes in your price range. Are there many foreclosures that have occurred in the area and how does that affect the price stability of those homes?
What about Your Activities?
Are the types of amenities that are important to you easily available? Do you have a particular church that you want to attend? Is there a golf course or a swimming pool nearby? What about walking trails? Restaurants and shopping? List the things that you need to have nearby and look to see what is available.
Are You Worried About Safety?
By law, your Realtor will not be able to tell you some information – the best alternative for safety related issues is to check with the local police or Sheriff and ask about incidents that have happened in the area. Are they higher or lower than surrounding neighborhoods and is it something that you should worry about.
Being a first time home buyer is an awesome task. But it can be the basis for a lifetime of enjoyment and settled peace. Take a little time and look for the exact neighborhood that will suit your lifestyle best.
Before you head out to check the neighborhoods, educate yourself on the entire process. Download "The Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home" at the button below. From FICO scores to down payments, we cover the entire adventure so you're prepared for anything.
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