There are so many firsts in a person’s life. Getting married and buying a dress, having your first child and sending them on a kindergarten bus, the first time one of your kids leaves for college...
Well, in housing your first time can be just as stressful and nervewracking. I was asked by my first time buyer clients K.M. and C.M. to write a little something about this experience and how to handle yourself during this time. Here are some advice tips to keep you cool during this first time process.
- If you equate this process (in hypothetical terms) to planning your wedding, please stop watching “Say Yes to the Dress!” Being overly obsessed with minutia can and will drive you crazy.
- Don’t overload yourselves with too much information from the starting line. You will never remember it all anyway. Be informed but try to focus on each step as it presents itself. Ask your realtor for an outline of the process and go over it in full during each step of the transaction.
- Keep your Ps and Qs to yourselves. I have said before in other articles that your situation is not the same as anyone else’s. Talk to your mortgage and real estate professionals, not friends and family. When you need a tooth pulled, you go to your dentist for a procedure — not to your cousin Fred, so keep to those same rules here.
- Before you start the fun part of house hunting, you really need to sit with a qualified mortgage professional and find out what your financial picture looks like. It’s never a fun time to start looking at houses in the $400,000 range and then find out you are only qualified for $300,000. After that, every house you see will be a disappointment.
- Find out if your employer is affiliated with any financial institutions that offer employees special first home buyer incentives. Although the tax credit is history there are still some first time buyer promotions out there.
- Last but not least be organized and diligent with all your banking paperwork. This will make for a smoother transaction without untimely and possibly costly delays that can affect both buyers and sellers.
Remember to try to enjoy yourself! Yes, this is a serious process, but have some fun at the same time. You want to look back on the experience as a positive one.