30 Tips For First Time Home Buyers

Buying a home for the first time can be an exciting experience, but there are a lot of things that can go wrong if you don’t do your due diligence first.

Before you even begin the house hunting process it’s essential to stock up on some words of wisdom that will save you some time, effort, and money.

Below are 30 practical and useful home buying tips for the first time home buyer.

  1. Start with a list of the possible locations where you would want to live.
  1. If you start driving around in your desired area, you might find some ideal subdivisions to settle.
  1. Find out just how much you can afford. Use mortgage calculators to get an idea.
  1. Take the time to look at as many houses as you can before making the decision to buy one. If you haven’t found one that’s right for you yet, have patience and keep looking.
  1. It takes longer to close a deal on short sales which have not been pre-approved as compared to standard sales or foreclosures.
  1. Before you even enter the home, check the neighborhood. Bad neighbors can quickly depreciate the value of the whole neighborhood.
  1. When you see dirty walls, don’t make this the reason why you would dismiss a house. Make sure you discount a house because of major factors and not because of minor repair issues.
  1. Don’t be turned off by “ugly houses.” These usually come cheap, and with a few tweaks, you can increase the value by about $20,000.
  1. It pays to check the basement first when assessing a house, see if the water heater or furnace is rusting, and ask how old it is.
  1. While in the basement, check for mold.
  1. Tubs can be re-glazed, if you don’t like the one that comes with the house.
  1. If you already have existing furniture, make sure you consider the size of the rooms with the stuff you already have.
  1. A damaged pool can cost you about $10,000 to repair.
  1. Paint colors can be easily fixed, try to look beyond awful color combinations.
  1. When making an offer, be sure to research about comparable home prices to see if you’re getting a good deal, or if you can use the information to haggle a lower price.
  1. When you finally need to buy new appliances, go for those that have Energy Star certifications. You can get tax credit, plus contribute to the environment. 
  2. Investment properties can increase in value by easy cosmetic repairs such as repairing an old porch or deck to up the curb appeal of the home. Check out some outdoor flooring options that can quickly increase the value of your investment properties.
  3. Once you’ve felt a connection to the house, be sure to assess the neighborhood as well. Drive around during different times of the day and assess if the area is noisy, or if the community fits your requirements.
  1. Generally, areas that are close to schools, hospitals, and big grocery stores have better resale value. This can also be highly convenient for you especially when you have kids.
  1. Check as many listings as you can.
  1. When inspecting the property, look up. Make sure the roof has no cracks and that it is not leaking.
  1. Check to see if the water heater and furnace are easily accessible for future repairs.
  1. FHA loans can help those who have low loan credit due to a lower income.
  1. Websites such as Quizzle.com can give you a free credit score and report.
  1. Don’t be easily taken by a well painted house. Try to see beyond the new paint and focus on the structure. In some cases, new paint is used to hide defects in the wall, so make sure to look closely.
  1. Want to pay your home off faster?  Try a Bi-Monthly Payment or Save 1/12th of your mortgage each month.  At the end of the year send in an additional payment.
  1. Want flexibility?  Get a 30 year mortgage over a 15 year mortgage.
  1. Limit your mortgage, taxes and insurance to 25% of your net income!  Trust me on this one you will thank me later.  In essence, this prevents you from buying too much house and allows you to be flexible so you can adjust to the changes that happen in life.
  1. You can’t deny the expertise of real estate agents or brokers. They do know the market, and they have a wide range of properties that they can show you.  But, please please please use them to augment your own research.  You’re about to do 6 figure deal.  Act like your life depends on it.. because in reality.. your financial life does!
  1. Get an agent or broker you can trust, or look for the top broker in popular realities.  Once again, follow the principles of item 29.

When it comes to buying a home, there are more points that you can consider, but these are some of the most basic.


You should be sure to review this list before setting out on your journey, and feel free to add to it if you find other useful tips.

Call to Action!

What can you add to the list? Was your home buying search easy and quick or long and difficult? What advice would you give someone who is looking to buy a home?

 

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Comments

  1. I think it’s crazy how many people really do decide they aren’t going to buy a house because of the colors of the wall. I wonder what is so hard about buying a 30 can of paint.

  2. Purchasing a home is one of life’s major landmarks and for some, it is even a dream come true. That’s why it is imperative that you work with a specialist and someone with a track record, an experienced Realtors would be a great help. If you follow some simple steps, you can make sure that the process runs smoothly

  3. Buying within your means is important, it’s a good idea to think about the aftermath; what do you need to buy? Will you be able to live comfortably or do you need to take a step back and view your spending now and how you can cut down? Here are some more useful tips for first home buyers, http://bit.ly/I5GaJx

  4. Unless you live in Phoenix, Tucson, or Palm Springs, avoid a pool, they are a hazard and cost a fortune to mainatin and insure.

    Here's another tip for first time homebuyers. Drive from your prospective new home to your work during the normal comute times. Sure the ad or agent may say "Only 15 min to downtown, but if that's at 6am on Sunday mornin, it really has no bearing to what your life will be like if you work downtown and it really takes an hour and 15 minutes at 7:30am on Tuesdays.

  5. Great post! I am so impressed by the info that you've in this website. Your information is most informative for us. Thanks a lot. Good luck.

    First time home buyer tips

  6. I just bought my first house a few years ago. This would have been a very convenient list. Thanks

  7. This is a great list, I will definitely keep these tips in mind when we are looking for our first house, thanks for the info!!

  8. Kari@Small Budget Bi says:

    Great tips, we just bought our first condo and used a lot of these. We're closing on the 16th of April and are super excited.

  9. I agree

  10. Great article, quizzle is the most used real estate database on the net, it is really worth to give it a try and check it!

  11. Another great tip that I learned from a wise man long time ago is to buy ugliest home in nicest neighborhood. The reason is simple. You can fix and make an ugly home to look beautiful, but you can't do the same with ugly neighborhood. :)

    • What a great tip! I think I did that with my home. I purchased a foreclosure at a steep discount in a great neighborhood. Fortunately, I didn't have to fix anything!

  12. Great advices, and I totally agree, Quizzle.com is the best database for home buyers. I've chosen my new flat from that site, too.

  13. The first should be to know how much home you can buy. Why look at homes in pacific heights or peidmont when you can only afford a 300,000 home?

    • The tips are not in order of priority, but I agree with you. That's why I put the tip in there about limiting your home purchase to a percentage of net income.

  14. Thanks for all the tips! I am not yet ready to buy a house, but I started looking. When the time is right I am going to ease my way into the market.

  15. Great tips! We've been in our house for 7 years now, but we have new neighbors that could have benefited from this post. They moved into a house that's a beautiful corner lot. The problem? It's the bus stop for about 15 kids! Oh, and they don't have kids….or seem to like them very much.

    • Ouch! I almost made a mistake of buying a home like your neighbor. We realized that those kids make a ton of noise. I'm glad we avoided buying that place.

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  7. fwisp.com says:

    30 Tips For First Time Home Buyers…

    Buying a home for the first time can be an exciting experience, but there are a lot of things that can go wrong if you don’t do your due diligence first. Before you even begin the house hunting process it’s essential to stock up on some words of wisdom…

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