DO know where your credit score stands. Before you apply for a home loan you can get your free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. This allows you to make changes in your spending habits and a chance to boost your credit score if it is not up to par. Most buyers cannot purchase a home without first taking out a home loan which requires certain “creditworthiness”.
DO research the home market. You can look at RealtyTimes’ Market Conditions or Coldwell Banker’s Home Price Comparison Index to find information regarding housing costs in various markets.
DO plan ahead. According to RealtorMag, “the average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years”. Questions that you need to answer are: Will you raise children in this home? Do you plan to grow old here or do you plan on this being a starter home? Will Grandma be staying here in the future? Do you plan to have pets and will they need the outdoor space? All of these things should be taken into consideration when buying a home. It will influence the size and type of home you will need.
DO know when to ask for help. During your housing search you will most likely need to hire a real estate agent, a home inspector, an attorney to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s, as well as a mortgage broker. You have plenty on your plate as a first time home buyer; let these guys help you with the rest.
DO prioritize your needs and wants. Be willing to compromise in order to stick to your budget. A solid foundation and running water are things you need. Granite countertops and a pool are examples of things we may want, but don’t need. Make a list of your priorities.
DON’T buy a home for a quick profit. Buy a house because you need one, not to make money off it tomorrow. Don’t bank on your home price soaring. Especially right now, the housing market is unpredictable.
DON’T allow lenders to fool you. Know what YOU can afford, instead of focusing on what a lender will loan you. Take a look at your existing bills; college loans, car payments, cable bill, cell phone bill, life insurance, car insurance, and numerous utility bills. Rather than living paycheck to paycheck, choose a home that suites your budget comfortably.
DON’T settle for the first home you see. Keep an open mind and walk through many different homes to get a feel of what fits you and your family. You may end up loving a different style home or completely different neighborhood than you imagined in the beginning. This is a big investment; take your time during your search.
DON’T sign unless you understand the loan. Research your different mortgages and loans just like you researched the housing market. Find someone to help you understand every part of the loan, take your time, and find one that works best for you and your lifestyle.
The information in this blog was summarized from: http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20080416_firsttimebuy.htm