5 Common Questions of First-Time Homebuyers

Buying a home is a big decision. From researching the market to applying for a loan and actually making an offer, a lot goes into buying a home. And, the process can be especially complicated for first-time homebuyers. If you’re gearing up to buy your first home, here’s a list of questions you should consider.

1. Where do you want to live?

Location, location, location is every realtor’s mantra for a reason. This basic question is the first rule of homebuying and impacts every other decision you’ll make as a homebuyer. It impacts home affordability, and bank and agent selection. A home’s value can change, depending on location. So, be careful to consider your answer to this all-important question.

2. How much home can you afford?

When looking into a new home, it’s important to look beyond the sticker price. That’s because homeownership comes with a whole new set of costs, including homeowners’ insurance, HOA fees, utility charges, and repair costs. Even if you think you can afford the upfront costs of buying a home, be careful not to bite off more than you can chew.

3. Where will you get a loan?

Your answer to this question will likely impact your life for the next 10 to 30 years. When you take out a home loan, you enter into a long-term relationship with your lender. So, it’s important to find a bank or credit union you can trust. Financing through a local, reputable credit union means you’ll get personalized attention and service.

4. How much money should you put down?

As a general rule, the more money you can put down on your home, the lower your loan amount and interest rate will be. Most lenders suggest paying at least 20% of your new home’s price or appraised value to avoid having to pay private mortgage insurance. But, coming up with that kind of cash can be difficult, so Utah First is currently offering mortgage loans with just $6,000 down and no mortgage insurance required for qualified members.

5. How much should you offer?

Negotiating a home’s price can be tricky. So, having a real estate agent by your side can be helpful, especially if this is your first go-around with making an offer. But, if you decide to negotiate terms by yourself, be careful to avoid extremes in your tactics. While you don’t necessarily have to play hardball, you don’t need to let the seller know that you want the house and you want it right now. Try to stay even keel during the negotiation process, as extremes in attitude and demeanor can lead to you overpaying or the seller walking away.

Buying a home is a big decision. It requires a little work and a lot of thought, but it’s an adventure by any measure of the meaning. If you’re ready to start the home-buying process, check out Utah First’s Home Ownership How-tos for even more answers to common first-time homebuyer questions.

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