first time home buyer tips

First Time Home Buyer Tips

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I'm a twin cities Realtor who loves helping you become the expert in your own real estate transactions through education & empowerment.

Hi! I'm Jenna.

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first time home buyer tips

First off, congrats! Deciding to buy your first home is such a monumental moment! Here are my go to first time home buyer tips to help you get started on the right track.

Shop Rates

Research different types of mortgages and lenders to find the best rate. Some lenders have access to products or promotions that other’s won’t so ask questions and compare, compare, compare! It’s also important for you to like your lender’s personality.

Understand Your Costs

Understand the costs associated with home ownership, such as taxes, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. Budgeting 1-2% of your mortgage balance as a yearly fund for maintenance and repairs is recommended by most financial experts.

Get Pre-Approved Early

Get pre-approved for a loan to give you an idea of how much you can afford. It’s important to do this before you start looking at homes. Your lender will help you understand how your current financial health picture affects your options. Falling in love with a house you can’t afford is not a fun way to start your homeownership journey.

Hire a Realtor

Hire a Realtor who can trust to guide you through the process & negotiate on your behalf. Best way to find a Realtor is to ask your friends and family for recommendations. Then check them out online (social media, YouTube, google) to see how they’re marketing themselves and their clients.

Meeting with them to see if you feel comfortable with them will be really important before you decide to hire them.

This post might help during the process: 9 Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Realtor

Get a Home Inspection

First time home buyers, this is so important… make sure to get a home inspection to identify any potential problems. You’re about to make the largest investment of your life and a home inspection can identify tens of thousands of dollars worth of future repairs and maintenance for the cost of around $450.

Top 10 Disclosures Home Buyers Need to Know

Location Location Location

Consider the location of the property and the amenities it has to offer. How close is it to daycare, the gym, grocery store, and your favorite restaurants? Now is a great time to check out the school system as well. If you’re planning to sell this home in the future, school systems play a large role in resale value.

Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the seller on the price of the home. Most of all, be ready to counter offer in a timely manner when the seller gets back to you with their counter offer.

Get a Home Warranty

Your lender will require you to have home owner’s insurance on the property but that doesn’t cover broken down mechanicals or appliances. Be sure to ask your Realtor about a Home Warranty option – this can be paid by the seller if negotiated into the purchase contract.

Don’t Forget About Closing Costs

Most buyers are aware of how much they may want to put down for their down payment but you’ll also need to account for closing costs. Closing costs are generally 2-3% of the purchase price. Sometimes this can be negotiated into the purchase contract to be paid by the seller but this is not something to count on, especially in a seller’s market.

I hope this information was helpful – it’s always my intention to educate and empower you to make the best real estate decisions for you.

If you’re ready to start your home search, reach out! I can set up your home search in minutes. 

Have a home to sell?  Start here & I’ll email you a free home valuation

You can find more helpful information on my YouTube Channel At Home in Saint Paul.

Jenna Martindale
January 6, 2023

First Time Home Buyer Tips

first time home buyer tips

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I don't just help you buy & sell.  I give you what you need to feel completely confident in your own decisions. 

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I'm Jenna Martindale