Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
You have decided to take that giant step into home ownership. It is a worthy goal
that involves some planning and discipline on your part. Here are a few tips that will
make the buying process a little bit smoother and stress-free.
Tip #1: Check Your Credit
Your credit score and the information contained within your credit report will
determine how much of a home loan you will qualify for and if you can qualify. You
can obtain a free report from each of the three main credit-reporting agencies. Look
these reports over carefully and dispute any errors that they may contain. One thing
you should never do when preparing to obtain a home loan is to open a new line of
credit, like applying for a new credit card or purchasing a new car on credit.
Tip #2: Get Preapproved
Getting preapproved will tell you exactly how much home you can afford. With a
preapproval letter from a mortgage lender, any purchase offer you make will be
considered a stronger offer. Both the sellers and the real estate agents involved will
know that you can complete the purchase and do so in a timely manner.
Be aware that there is a major difference between a preapproval and a
prequalification. A prequalification is only an estimate of the size of loan that you
could qualify for. It is based on informal information. While a preapproval is still not
a loan guarantee, it is a stronger sign of what you can afford.
Tip #3: Explore Your Neighborhoods of Interest
Open houses provide you with an opportunity to visit and view homes that are for
sale in neighborhoods that you would like to live in. Never rush into buying the first
home that you come across. Seeing and comparing the homes that are on the market
will give you the information that you need to determine whether a home is a good,
or reasonably good, deal. It will also keep you from making an offer on over-priced
Another possibly important consideration for your new home is off-street parking.
Having a garage, or off-street parking, is important when the time may come to sell
the home. Even if you are looking for a downtown condo, off-street or covered
parking will increase the value of any property.
Once you have a better idea of the types of homes and neighborhoods that appeal to
you, find a good real estate agent to work with. This will be one of the few times in
life that you can hire an expert and not have to take any money out of your own
pocket to pay for their help. Sellers pay commissions to realtors, not buyers!
Tip #4: Adhere to Your Budget
Don’t over-spend on the home. It’s easy to discount the fact that life happens and
financial surprises will crop up at the most inconvenient times. Don’t stretch
yourself too thin financially. Also remember that there are other costs involved in a
home purchase; things like insurance costs, appraisal fees, and closing costs. All
these things must be planned for and added to the final cost of the home.
Tip #5: Never Skip a Home Inspection
It may look great and it may seem perfect but a thorough home inspection is still a
necessity. You can’t determine whether every structural or mechanical component
is in good condition if you don’t know what you are looking at. A qualified home
inspector knows and understands what to look for. If possible, be present when the
inspection is done so that you can ask questions immediately if an issue comes up. If
you can’t be present, be sure to carefully review the inspection report and ask about
any concerns you may have. This is another area that a good real estate agent can
help you with.
In the End
Purchasing your first home should not be overwhelming. Being prepared will enable
the process to be accomplished quickly and smoothly. These tips will increase your
chances of a successful and stress-free first home purchase.
Our own team leader Darwin Wall had the honor of being named one of the highly coveted Men of Chandler for 2022 by Chandler City Lifestyle. The notable Chandler City Lifestyle magazine releases a monthly issue consisting of articles that highlight all things Chandler. Every year the magazine recognizes Chandler men who are making a meaningful impact in the community. Darwin, alongside the 12 other phenomenal recipients, were featured in the June issue of the Chandler City Lifestyle magazine and were named the 2022 Men of Chandler.
Darwin was deemed one of the Men of Chandler for 2022 due to a plethora of reasons, with one of them being his level of involvement in the community. Darwin’s real estate team participated in numerous philanthropy events throughout the year and made it a priority to give back to the Chandler community in which he was born and raised in. In the past month Darwin and his real estate team put on a golf fundraiser in honor of Emily, who is battling metastatic cervical cancer. With the help from the fundraiser’s sponsors and the participants of the event, the Darwin Wall team was able to raise $20,000 for Emily to assist in paying for her medical bills. On top of that Darwin and his team put on their annual Save Second Base Pub Crawl every October in efforts to spread cancer awareness and give back to Chandler locals battling breast cancer.
Aside from Darwin’s dedication in giving back to the Chandler community he is a superb team leader. Darwin followed in his family footsteps and decided to get into real estate from a very young age. Darwin uses his extensive experience and knowledge in the real estate field to provide guidance and encouragement for his team members. Darwin and his team were recognized as being the Top Team Realty ONE group in the East Valley last year and were rated in the top 1% of Realtors in Arizona. Be sure to check out the June issue of the Chandler City Lifestyle’s magazine to see our very own Darwin Wall! Congrats Darwin on this great achievement!
Many seniors want to live with their families as they age. If your parent or other relative is moving in with you, you must consider the space in your home, their caregiving needs, and the financial aspects of the situation. Open the lines of communication and have a frank discussion with your loved one to make the right decisions for everyone involved. To help you along, here are some tips, courtesy of the Darwin Wall Team.
Create a Comfortable, Safe Space
If you have an extra bedroom available in your home, it will make things a lot easier. However, even if you don't, you could convert a den or garage into a bedroom for your loved one without spending much money. Also, a bathroom should be available on the floor where your relative will be sleeping. If your loved one is in a wheelchair or has mobility issues, you may need to make some renovations to your home to meet their short- and long-term health needs.
Work out the financial details
In addition to the logistics of where your relative will sleep, you also need to talk about the finances, too. Will you be charging rent? How will you be splitting utility costs and grocery bills? Will you be handling all their caregiving needs, or will they hire an outside caregiver? It's important to talk about all the financial details of your arrangement to avoid issues in the future.
Depending on how much money you can contribute to your loved one's care, you will need to discuss how those expenses will be paid. Do they have any savings or retirement funds? Are they receiving any benefits? Also consider what options you have for freeing up more income. While discussing finances, also talk about house rules, privacy issues, and other details to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Figure out what to do with their home
If your loved one currently owns a home, you need to help them figure out what to do with it. If you plan to keep it, there needs to be a plan for dealing with the mortgage. Renting it out can provide a stream of income, but becoming a landlord isn't something that many seniors want to take on, so it may be best to prepare the house for sale. Selling a house can be emotionally and physically taxing — though it’s a lot easier if you work with professionals like the Darwin Wall Team.
If the house is kept, even if it's paid off, there will be a number of ongoing expenses including property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance, and repairs. If it's going to be rented out, then your loved one may need to hire a property manager to handle all the details, especially if you (or another relative) does not live close to the home to oversee the situation.
Your relative may decide to sell the home if the upkeep is too much. Selling the house may be the practical solution if they have equity in the home and need an influx of money for their future. Before selling, consider the condition of the home. Is it in good enough shape to attract buyers or will renovations need to be done? Also consider the local real estate market, as well as your loved one's willingness to sell. If they want a family member to inherit the home, they may not want to sell at all. Before rushing to rent out or sell the home, talk about all these factors and any others that are important to your family in order to make a sound decision.
Allowing a relative to come live with you isn’t an easy decision, but it can be a rewarding situation for everyone involved. With some careful planning and honest communication, you can enjoy time with your loved one as they live out their golden years in your home.
The Darwin Wall Team has the experience and expertise to give you the BEST the East Valley has to offer. Our marketing strategy gives our home sellers the advantage in our extremely competitive real estate market. For more information, please visit our website or contact us today!
Darwin Wall Real Estate Team
The Darwin Wall Real Estate Team, All things real estate!!.