10 Simple Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
Heres some basic information that can help people who
are purchasing their first home.
These tips come from Cindy Chandler, president of the North
Carolina Association of REALTORS®; syndicated columnist
Ilyce Glink, author of "100 Questions Every First-Time
Home Buyer Should Ask"; the book "1,001 Tips for Buying
and Selling a Home," by Mark Nash; and the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development website.
Find out if you qualify for home-buying help.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, for
example, has programs to help teachers, firefighters and others
buy affordable homes. Federal Housing Administration loan
programs offer lower down payments to help first-time buyers.
Go to HUD's
Get pre-qualified for a loan. First, get a
copy of your credit history (free copies are available through
then find a reputable lender.
Make a list of must-haves in a new home and
another of would-like-to-haves. Prioritize both lists and
Dont spend a lot of time looking at
homes you cant afford. This reduces the temptation to
overextend your budget.
Realize the neighborhood you choose is at
least as important as the house. Make sure you are comfortable
there. You can fix a house; a neighborhood is what it is.
Think about resale value. When you spot a
home you like, consider how it will look to future buyers.
For instance, proximity to a busy street can turn off some
Find out and calculate on-going maintenance
costs and other factors like taxes, insurance and utilities.
Have the house inspected and carefully review
the report. Come up with a negotiation strategy, remembering
that the seller is obligated to fix a leaking roof but not
a hole in the carpet.
Examine the preclosing statement provided
by your agent or lender and ensure that you have enough cash
to swing the deal when you go to settlement.