It’s all too easy for first-time homebuyers to make missteps during the buying process. After all, there are a lot of moving pieces to consider; not to mention all the online resources offering advice (some of which is contradictory)! So let’s cut through the noise and highlight some of the biggest first-time homebuyer pitfalls that you should avoid in North Texas.
Not knowing what you can afford
Many first-time homebuyers get caught up in researching the “exciting” aspects of the homebuying process - things like kitchen amenities, floor plans, and the square footage of backyards. While these things are certainly important, as a first-time homebuyer you need to make sure you dedicate time to researching financing options. Talk to a qualified lender and get yourself pre-approved for a mortgage. If you don’t do this first, you might end up falling in love with a North Texas home that you can’t afford.
Picking the wrong neighborhood
As mentioned above, first-time homebuyers often get caught up in details that pertain to the actual, physical homes they’re looking at. Equally important, however, is where a home is located. If you’re a young, active couple that’s prone to throwing parties, a quiet North Texas neighborhood made up primarily of older residents probably isn’t the place for you.
When looking at homes, make sure to pay attention to neighborhoods. Ask yourself, “Where’s the nearest grocery store?”, “Are there lots of people jogging and walking pets?,” and so on. By picking a neighborhood that’s tailored to your lifestyle, you’ll have a much more enjoyable home-owning experience after you buy.
Not calculating expenses
You did it! You found the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood and - best of all - it’s in your price range...or is it? There are many additional expenses associated with owning a home that first-time buyers often overlook. These include North Texas property taxes, maintenance work, and utility bills. So before you pull the trigger on a home, make sure you figure out what such expenses will run you ahead of time.
Ready for next steps? Reach out to your local North Texas expert for tips and tricks on how to navigate the world of buying real estate for the first time.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, buying a home is an exciting process. However, there’s also a lot to consider when you decide to buy. So before you begin your search for the perfect property, here are four questions you should ask yourself.
What do I want?
Take the time to figure out what type of property you want to buy. From single-family and multi-family homes to condos and co-ops, there are many different options on the market and it’s important to choose the type that best fits your needs. Figuring out the town or neighborhood you want to live in is equally important. While a property might have all of the amenities you’re looking for, factors like crime rate and proximity to highways can impact the overall home-owning experience. A good idea is to list out and prioritize your needs (e.g. large backyard, great school system) before you begin your search.
What can I afford?
The rule of thumb is that you should never spend more than 30% of your monthly income on a mortgage payment. An alternate rule states that you can afford to buy a property that runs about two-and-a-half times your annual salary. For a more tailored look at what you can afford, use an online mortgage calculator to see what your monthly mortgage payments would be if you bought a home today.
Am I financially prepared?
A few months before you start searching for a home, review your credit history and make sure it is in good standing. Get copies of your credit report, ensure that it’s accurate, and fix any issues you discover. It’s likely that you’ll also want to get pre-approved for a home loan, which will put you in a better position to make a serious offer once you find the right property. Pre-approval from a lender is based on your credit history, debt, and income.
How do I make the best offer possible?
Do your research! Your initial offer should be based on the sales trends of similar homes in the area. So before making your offer, get online and review the selling prices of comparable properties. If these properties sold for less than the current asking price of the home you’re looking at, you can feel comfortable make an offer that’s slightly lower than what the seller is asking.
Buying a home is one of the most important, exciting and intimidating decisions of your life. Equal parts consultant, data analyst, and negotiator, as your REALTOR® I strive to make home buying more transparent and less stressful, so you can focus on finding the house you love. Partner with me and you’ll gain more than confidence, knowledge and insight; you’ll find your dream home.
Many homebuyers dream of owning a beautiful, modern, luxurious home decked out with all the best amenities. For those fortunate folks who are actually poised to purchase such a home, however, careful consideration is essential. That’s why I’ve laid out the following tips to help you find a luxury home that meets your needs as well as your desires.
BEGINNING YOUR SEARCH
Luxury home sellers often prefer to maintain a low profile. As a result, their homes may be unlisted or minimally advertised, making it difficult for you to find out when a luxury home becomes available for sale. Hiring an North Texas experienced agent, especially someone who has the requisite connections, can give you a huge advantage when trying to track down luxury homes on the market.
LOOKING FROM ABOVE
While seeing photos of a luxury home can give you a good idea of its architectural style and key features, you’ll want to do a bit more research before deciding to attend an open house or book a showing. Try typing the luxury listing’s address into Google Maps to access the Street View. This will help you get a better picture (literally) of the home’s plot, yard space, and overall landscaping. Not sure if a home has that in-ground pool you’ve always wanted? Google may show you if this home will fulfill that dream, even if the public listing details do not.
Considering the price tag, it should be a given that the luxury home you’re looking for will have modern flooring, fixtures, the most up-to-date appliances, and other features. To stay on the absolute cutting edge of home technology, you should choose a luxury home that also comes equipped with an automated control system. Smart home systems will allow you to adjust blinds, turn lights on and off, adjust the temperature, and more, all from your smartphone!
A truly luxurious North Texas home will have a beautiful, high-tech bathroom. Popular features include high-end jet tubs that can shoot sounds waves through the water, and showers designed to mimc the rainforest or falling rain. Electronic control panels on such tubs and showers make adjusting temperatures and other settings a breeze.
To ensure you’re looking at only the truly luxurious North Texas homes, make sure to reach out to your local realty expert for advice and guidance on how to hunt for your dream home!
Request a free estimate or consultation with JP & Associates REALTORS® today! We'll be happy to help every step of the way.