First Time Home Buyer Steps to Success

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For many people, a new year means new opportunities; a time for fresh starts or to develop new goals… New Year’s Resolutions. Our youngest daughter graduated from college and got married this past year and today she called me to say that she and her husband want to spend this weekend developing a plan for purchasing their first home in 2011. Perhaps you are thinking along the same lines. If you hope to achieve the dream of owning your own home in 2011, the following may be helpful.

Talk to professionals. Begin with a real estate professional who has strong connections with ancillary professionals such as a lender and attorney who are familiar with the area and others such as home inspector and even insurance providers. We believe so strongly in the importance of these alliances that we have developed just such a team of real estate professionals and you can learn more about each of them at

Most people find it is important to work with professionals who instill confidence. You’ll no doubt want to be confident in the abilities of the people you choose as they become a part of your team. You’ll want to feel comfortable asking questions and sharing information with them.

Your search may have begun on the internet but once you choose your team and start looking at homes, the process can move rather quickly and you may have to make crucial decisions on a moment’s notice. Your Realtor® will be your primary resource throughout the entire process as she guides you from the initial search through closing on the purchase of your new home. Your agent will also be key in putting together a list of homes that fit your preferences and budget.

Money is a major concern. You may have savings to cover your down payment but there are other upfront expenses like closing costs and inspection costs as well as prepaid items required by the lender. Your agent and team should assist you in looking into the programs available to help you reduce some of these costs.

Also, it’s never too early in the process to get pre-approved for a loan. This will help you develop a budget, understand what price range you can afford and set realistic expectations as you move forward.

Know what you must have and what you’d just like to have. Make a list of the features you cannot live without and another list of what you want in a home. There is no such thing as an absolutely perfect home… even if you build it yourself from the foundation up. Ask anyone who has done it and they’ll confirm that unless you have an unlimited budget there will be some things you’ll have to give up in order to get other things that are absolutely essential to you. Before you begin looking at homes, be sure you have a clear idea of what your wants and needs are, as well as the price you are willing and able to pay.

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