10 Things to consider when buying your first home

Are you a First Time Home buyer?  These are the TOP 10 Things to consider when buying your first home.  Based upon my 19 years experience helping clients just like you buy their first home ever.

1.  Consider new construction versus resale homes.   Each offers great advantages. My first home was new construction.  It takes longer to build a home, but you have joy of knowing you are the first person to ever live there. 

In my case, I also had the unwanted excitement of accidentally flooding my new property with bubbles when I put liquid dish soap in the dishwasher. 

Many buyers elect to buy a resale home because the kinks are worked out and the house is ready to go with window coverings, appliances and decor (all of which can add significant costs).

2. Protect yourself. Purchasing a home is a major investment.  You are entitled to have a real estate agent representing your best interests.  The fees are generally paid by the seller, so why not have someone looking out for you?  Read more on Buyer Agency or visit the Colorado gov site for more.

3. Research your home financing options.  The recession of 2008 was caused in part by risky mortgages issued to unprepared borrowers as the economy slowed.  Understanding your home mortgage loan is an important step; know what’s included.  A good mortgage broker or banker can explain the process while getting you approved for your new loan.  Read more the various types of mortgages; meet several mortgage brokers now.

bob gordon and john arnold and beth & frank in a real estate closing
Handing over the house keys to first time home buyers. Pictured: (L to R) Bob Gordon, Realtor; John Arnold, Mortgage Banker, Frank and Beth Kinney.  Understanding your home financing is an important step in the 10 Things to consider when buying your first home.  Beth and I were in the same workout group and that’s how we met.

4. Don’t forget taxes and insurance.  When thinking about the 10 Things to consider when buying your first home, many house buyers don’t contemplate an HOA fee.  And yet, HOA – Home Owners Association fees are quite common in newer neighborhoods.  The fees cover swimming pools and park areas.  Taxes are also added to monthly payments as well as hazard insurance. 

Did you know, in Colorado, buyers can terminate the contract if reasonably priced hazard insurance is unavailable.

5.  Get everything in writing.  For a Colorado Contract to Buy and Sell real estate to be valid, it must be in writing, with earnest money and signed.  Always ask for a copy of every document you sign in your real estate transaction.  I always bcc my clients when sending contract related documents.  Electronic signatures and Fax signatures are frequently allowed in real estate transactions.

becca and anthony
Becca did a great deal of research before buying. Step # 8 of 10 Things to consider when buying your first home was most important. She wanted to be near her boyfriend Anthony. Becca and Anthony are now engaged!

6. Possibly the best recommendation in my list of 10 Things to consider when buying your first home: get a home inspection.  Fees for inspections vary.  You may want to do further testing for soils, radon or structural issues.  The seller should provide a Seller’s Property Disclosure and depending upon the age of the home a Lead Based Paint disclosure.  It is your right to understand the house you are purchasing!  Read more on Home Inspections, inspector credentials and an earlier post on inspections.

7. How long will you live in your new home?  The longer you can live in your new home, the better.  The current rule of thumb is five years.  If you think you might need to move before that, are you okay making your new house into a rental?  Income property can be a good source of cash flow and long term investment.  It can also be a massive hassle. So best to consider how long you will stay put once you purchase your new home!

top 10 graphic
List your goals, dreams and must-have features as part of your 10 Things to consider when buying your first home

8. Set your needs and wants for your new home!  What are your Must Have features?  Do you have a large family? One bedroom condos are probably out.  Is it just you and you are looking for a social scene? Or a quiet street?  What are the most important dream options for your new home?  Sometimes creating a checklist is helpful. Or using a map, draw the maximum commute radius you are willing to consider.    This is your home, so let’s make certain we satisfy your most sacred needs and wants in your new house!

9. Consider First Time Home Buyer programs.  In Boulder, there are financing options and even housing programs for super affordable properties.  Check with the City you live in for assistance programs.  If you are a fire fighter, police officer or teacher, you can qualify for half priced houses through the Good Neighbor Next Door program.  Depending upon your income, anyone can take advantage of Chafa financing on their first home!  If you served in the Armed Forces, there is the zero down VA home mortgage opportunity.

Bear and Bob Gordon in the kitchen nook
For some buyers, where you LIVE IN THE HOUSE would be at the top of your own list of 10 Things to consider when buying your first home. We love to cook and share family meals. Here I’m pictured with my son enjoying blueberry pancakes for breakfast ( L to R: Bear and Bob Gordon)

10. The most important step of the 10 Things to consider when buying your first home? Location, location, location.   If it sounds silly, I agree, but location is the single most important factor.   You can change paint and carpets and just about any aspect of a house, but you really cannot change the location. 

Why only 10 Things to consider when buying your first home?

Watch a modern movie and chances are, after the credits roll, there will be a teaser for a future film for some little bit of the movie that was left out.  Well, if there is a eleventh and missing element from my post on 10 Things to consider when buying your first home it is to consider the follow up after you complete the sale.  That’s right – after you own your new home.  My business is built on being a resource to clients before, during and after the purchase of their new home. 

This is reflected in my client testimonials – check them out now.  I will also throw a house warming party for you after we close on your new house!  And of course, I’ll stay in touch with you so if there is ever an issue, I can be a resource (I know a lot of good handymen, reputable HVAC firms, landscapers, plumbers etc). 

Ready to start looking for your home? Call me today at 303-443-3334 or send me a note now!

 

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