Part of this “adulting” thing everyone talks about is buying your first house, but how do you prepare for a successful first transaction? There are many steps and emotions involved in buying your first house so gaining knowledge about the process is crucial. Ready for the 5 MUST KNOW items for first time home buyers?
- First, how much can you spend as a first time home buyer? Know your budget and stick with it. A good first step to find your budget is to get pre-qualified for a loan. This pre-qualification provides you with a range in which you can search for homes that you can comfortably afford; remember to count in repairs, maintenance, and additions you may have so you do not overspend. Don’t have a lender? Speak with your real estate agent about some of the preferred lenders in your area.
- Mindset! Tell yourself, “you are a rock star and will find the best house”! Don’t worry I’m not getting too Yoda on you. Mastering a positive mindset will help you the most when searching for a home. You should also have goals and limits set to keep you on track. Write down goals that include a timeframe in which you would like to find a house, certain wants and needs you would like in the house, and stay within your budget. Knowing and setting a limit on how much you can comfortably afford keeps you out of financial trouble down the road and keeps you in the right mindset. Look at these goals and limits every day to make sure you keep on track.
- Next, you must know what is truly important to you and your lifestyle! On that same piece of paper where you wrote your goals, write down your needs and wants. Think of the must-haves such as school zones, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, type of neighborhood and how far you’re willing to commute. Now write down the nice-to-haves such as walkability to restaurants, close to parks, fenced in yard, or screened in porch.
- Know your taxes (estimated) and exemptions!. Knowing your property taxes as a first time home buyer ties in with preparing a budget and price point in which you can comfortably afford. Each county differs in assessed property taxes, but the difference is not high enough for most buyers to choose one county over another. More information on property taxes can be found at your local county appraiser’s website or here.
Know how to save money with a homestead exemption. With requirements including the property as your primary residence this homestead exemption can shave off $50,000 from your assessed home value for tax purposes. Explore the requirements and paperwork here for the homestead exemption for Central Florida residents.
- Lastly, know if you should buy a “turn-key” house or put some sweat equity into your first house. Many first time home buyers dream of a brand new house that is all shiny and perfect, but think of the possibilities for saving money on a house that needs some DIY updates. These DIY projects allow you to save money and personalize the house to your style. Keep in mind the extent of DIY you are able to perform and the cost of projects.
We love helping first time home buyers in the Central Florida area because it’s an amazing step in your life! We would be honored if you would reach out to us for any questions that we could answer, we would also enjoy the opportunity to show you how we have a great system to guide first time home buyers through the transaction from beginning to end.
-Central Florida the Beautiful