Being a first time home buyer can be a bit intimidating and even stressful. Real estate has its own language and nuances that can make it a challenge for newbies. If you’ve never purchased a home before, here are some basics you should understand.
Buyers or Sellers Market
A buyers’ market is one in which it is advantageous to be a buyer. This usually occurs when housing inventory exceeds demand. This can usually put the buyer at an advantage when it comes to negotiating. On the other hand, a seller’s market is when available homes are in high demand and homes may sell for the asking price or above.
Pre-Approved and Pre-Qualified Financing
Today, it is more critical than ever to get financing in place prior to making an offer. Pre-qualifying for a mortgage means, based on your income to debt ratio and other factors, you should qualify to buy a home within a certain price range. To pre-qualify for a mortgage means you have filled out the paperwork, and based on that information, a mortgage lender has committed to financing your purchase.
Buyers or Sellers Agent
It can be important to note that most real estate agents represent the sellers in a transaction. The seller is, after all, paying the agent’s commissions. You can, however, request an agent to serve as a buyer’s agent and work in your best interest.
A large segment of buyers combines their mortgage payments with their property tax and homeowners insurance premiums, making one payment in escrow. It is important to factor these into your housing budget. While this can be convenient, it can lead to “home insurance amnesia”. This is where the homeowner forgets how much they are paying for their homeowner’s insurance policy or even what it may cover. New home buyers should know that even if you make premium payments through escrow, you can still shop for your own policy and price. It is also important to review your home insurance policy every few years to make sure it is not outdated.
If you are considering the purchase of your first home, we invite you to reach out to us with your homeowners’ insurance questions. Let us help you protect your home while providing peace of mind. As independent agents, we can search multiple companies in our network to find you the best value. We look forward to assisting you.