Oct. 18, 2012
Recently, I was talking with my older sister about being a first-time homebuyer. She and her husband bought their home 10 years ago, about the same time they were planning their wedding. As young newlyweds, they wanted a place of their own to start their married life together.
As she usually does, my sister had some good advice for me to consider before I buy my first home. Here are four dos and don’ts from her experience as a first-time homebuyer:
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you aren’t sure about something during the homebuying process, speak up. Many aspects of buying a property for the first time can be confusing or even overwhelming, but if you don’t ask questions you can end up with problems you could’ve avoided had you simply spoken up.
Do your financial research. In their eagerness to become homeowners and busyness planning their wedding, my sister and brother-in-law didn’t have time to explore all of their funding options. They could’ve avoided some later financial headaches and put themselves in a better buying position with a little extra information.
Don’t settle, but don’t have unrealistic expectations. With the number of home-improvement shows out there, it’s easy to think you might be able to pull down that wallpaper or easily knock out an extra wall. That’s not always the case, though. While it’s important to be flexible in your list of “wants” in a property, don’t get caught up in visualizing a makeover if you really don’t have the time or interest in trying it.
Do work with a REALTOR®. My sister said she feels like her bad experience and unwelcome surprises during her real estate transaction could’ve been avoided if she had an expert like a Texas REALTOR® on her side. The next time she buys, she will look for a REALTOR® who is a good fit for her family’s needs.