Posted By Alan Donald @ Jun 12th 2009 7:15am In: Buyers

First Home Buyer FamilyAs a first time home buyer, you need to maintain a balance between money and lifestyle in a way that makes sense for you and your family. Buying a home comes with great benefits, but also with added responsibilities. Many first home buyers are very apprehensive and fearful of the process of buying a home. They need not be. Although the process is not complex, it includes a myriad of steps that have to be done in the right order to avoid problems. Hiring a Realtor who can recommend the right team of inspectors, attorneys, lenders, surveyors, insurance agents, painters, handymen, etc. will save buyers lots of time and headaches.

I recommend to all my first-home buyer clients that they follow a plan like this one:

  1. Sit down (with your partner, if you have one) and figure out your short, medium and long term objective
  2. Apply for a loan (make sure the loan officer checks all your documents) and get a pre-approval letter from a lender so that you know how much house you can comfortably afford. Make sure you can afford the estimated payment (i.e. no big payment shock!)
  3. HIRE A REALTOR as your BUYER'S AGENT! It amazes me that someone who has never bought a home would feel OK about buying their biggest investment without getting professional help! In SC, hiring a REALTOR to represent you as a buyer is FREE OF CHARGE (the commission is paid for by the seller)
  4. Establish your home search parameters and share them with your Realtor
  5. Find the perfect home and negotiate a favorable contract. Make sure it fits your desires and objectives
  6. Stay actively involved during the due diligence (contract-to-closing) period
  7. Make sure you provide any information that your lender or insurance company asks for without delay
  8. Plan your move in advance. Connect utilities in your name as of the closing date
  9. Ask the attorney how much you need to bring to the closing. Get a cashier's check or wire the money to the attorney
  10. Attend the closing.
  11. Enjoy your home!
  12. Change your driver's license address
  13. Don't forget to claim the Primary Residence Exemption which lowers your property tax substantially!


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