Tabitha Heit’s Complete First-Time Homebuyer's Guide for Ambler, PA

Tabitha Heit’s Complete First-Time Homebuyer's Guide for Ambler, PA
Entering the market as a first-time homebuyer should be a thrilling experience. If you’re excited about finding a new home to call your own, you probably want to know as much as you can about the process. And when you work with the right agent, there’s every reason to be optimistic about your home search. Read on to find answers to relevant questions as you prepare for the best possible home purchase.

Save for a down payment

The down payment is the financial cornerstone for most first-time homebuyers. The exact amount you’ll need for a down payment depends on the loan you take out. You’ll learn more about how to shop for a lender later on. At a minimum, you’ll need to put down at least 3% of the home's total cost when you come to the table for closing (not including what you’ll spend on your share of closing costs, which typically range from two to five percent of the home's total cost).

Many buyers also find that they spend one to two thousand dollars during their first few weeks in the home on random home items they didn’t realize that they needed. It’s a good idea to begin saving early to prepare for each expense.

Talk to a couple lenders

You can’t pay for 100% of the cost of the home upfront, and that’s totally fine. Very few first-time home buyers can. You will work with a lender who can supply additional funding to get the rest of the money you'll need to purchase your home.

It’s important to understand that different lenders offer different interest rates, and you can save yourself thousands of dollars over the life of your loan simply by shopping around and speaking with multiple banks or organizations to see who can offer you the best deal. Many first-time homeowners are surprised to learn that most of their monthly mortgage payments consist of interest rather than payments on the principal amount of the loan.

Each lender will want to know your current debt-to-income ratio and credit score. They may want to see recent tax returns or pay stubs that function as proof of income. Their overall goal is to determine your status and standing as a candidate for a loan. Once they run all of your information, they will provide you with a pre-approval letter outlining the type and amount of loan that you qualify for. You’ll sometimes need to have this letter before you can officially partner with a real estate agent or make an offer to a seller, so this step in the process is crucial.

Determine what you’re looking for in a home

Once you know how much you can take out in a loan, look at homes inside your price range online. As you view different properties, you’ll get a better feel for what features and amenities are most important to you and what preferences you can live without. You can describe what you’re looking for to your realtor, and they will search for properties that fit what you hope to find.

Visit the home in person

Only offer a home after first seeing the property in person. This is essential for a couple of reasons. First, you will want to feel what it’s like inside the space. After all, buying a home is both logical and emotional. You’re spending more money on a home than you’ll probably spend on any other purchase throughout your entire life. You want to make sure you like the home that you’re buying.

Don’t skip the inspection

After you agree to a deal to purchase a home, you’ll probably have an option period between seven to 10 days. This clause allows you to withdraw from the purchase for a small fee. The main purpose of the option period is to give you a chance to order an inspection for the home. The inspector will come and look at the property to confirm that there are no serious structural, mechanical, or foundational concerns. These issues can cost thousands of dollars to resolve and are often difficult to detect without a home inspection. Make sure you don’t buy a home without getting an inspection first.

Choose an experienced real estate agent

You’ll work closely with your real estate agent throughout the buying process. They will show you homes in your desired price range and identify potential issues. They will help you negotiate with the seller once you find a home that you want to buy. Moreover, they will help create the contract for the home purchase, often asking you questions about how you want certain lines and clauses to read.

Your realtor will attend closing with you and help you understand the nuances and specificities of everything you are signing up for. Take time to choose the best agent to help you with your sale by reading online reviews and learning about a particular agent’s experience before officially agreeing to work together.

Choose Tabitha Heit

Many people shopping for homes in Amber find that Tabitha Heit is the ideal person to partner with them in their search. Tabitha specializes in helping buyers relocate to Ambler and the surrounding area. She has fine-tuned the buying process into discrete steps to help you make the most profitable sale possible.

Tabitha loves helping first-time homebuyers shop for Ambler, PA, real estate. She understands how it feels to be a first-time homebuyer and is willing to answer any questions or address any concerns you have throughout the process.

Reach out to Tabitha when you’re ready to begin shopping for homes for sale in Ambler, PA — she will be more than happy to help you find your dream home!

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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