Tuesday, 14 May 2013 16:24

Preparing to Buy a Home for the First Time

You've dissected and scrutinized the pros and cons of buying your first home, and with a healthy amount of hesitation you decided you're ready to purchase a house in Springfield, Illinois. Stepping out of the shoes of a renter and into the shoes of a homeowner can be intimidating, but the satisfaction of accomplishing your dream will outweigh any sleepless nights you experience. The foundation for successfully buying a home is doing research and surrounding yourself with people you trust.

The power of education.

Attending a first time home buyer seminar in your area can help ease your anxieties. A seminar will consist of a real estate professional guiding the audience through the process of buying a home. The subject matters covered may range from the importance of getting pre-approved to budgeting for unexpected costs. Participating in a seminar will boost your confidence and make your house hunting experience a tad less stressful. Know your budget. Sitting down and reviewing your monthly budget gives you a better understanding of your expense limit. Take a look at your spending habits. Calculate the cost of your monthly bills, minus rent, and add that to any misalliance expenses, such as, groceries and gas. The amount of money you have left over is the budget you can afford on housing costs. Remember to include home owners insurance and other home-related expenses when you are estimating your monthly housing payments. 

Necessity vs convenience.

Hardwood floors and granite counter tops may be a high priority on your wish list, but before you get carried away in the aesthetics of house hunting, know the difference between your needs and your wants. You may want a large master-closest, but saving money on gas with a house near your work may qualify as a need. Keeping an open mind when searching for a house is a must. Finding a home in Springfield may feel like a need, but expanding the perimeters of your search to nearby cities, such as, Chatham, Illinois, and Rochester, Illinois, could create a larger amount of options while still maintaining your budget. Composing a checklist of what you deem a necessity and what you feel is a convenience will help you find the best fitting home.

Getting pre-approved.

Receiving a pre-approval shows you the amount of money you are able to borrow from a lender. Once you find out what your price limit is, you can narrow down your search to homes strictly in your spending range. A pre-approval will also validate to home sellers that you are serious about purchasing a property. 

Finding the right real estate agent.

Picking the right real estate agent is key to buying a home. Remember to choose an agent you can work well with and trust. Ask your friends and family about the agents they've used and if they would recommend them. If they wouldn't recommend their former agent, ask their opinions on the qualities they find most useful in a real estate agent. When interviewing agents be sure to inquire on what hours they are willing to work, and how many houses they've sold in Springfield, Illinois, and the surrounding cities.

If you are ready to buy your first home, please contact us. We are here to advise and support you during this exciting experience.

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"At first we were hesitant to work with a realtor because we didn’t know much about buying homes, but it was really great working with a Buyer's Agent!!"

Natalie & Bill C. - Chatham

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