Lynne Eliopoulos
ERA Key Realty Services | 508-832-1032 | [email protected]


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 2/7/2021

Photo by StockEU via Shutterstock

Purchasing a home for the first time is often a daunting task. There are many things to know and a plethora of conflicting advice. If youíre new to real estate and the home-buying process, keeping these tips in mind can help make the path to homeownership smoother.

Pick the Right Person

Choosing a real estate agent that specializes in helping first-time homebuyers can relieve some of the uncertainty you might feel. You must seek professional help when buying a home because you need someone to watch out for your interests. A buyerís agent only works for you. They do not represent the seller, so when it comes to negotiating, they are committed to your best interest.

Remember that your agent does this for a living. That means they are licensed by the state and maintain that license. The information they give you is for you, in your situation. Work with your agent exclusively and donít keep them in the dark about what you want. You wonít make a better deal with the seller by excluding your agent, and since you have a contract with them, you may set yourself up for legal action if you do.

Choose the Right Lender

Apply to several lenders to find the best loan at the best rate for you. Many lenders offer first-time buyer programs that give preferential rates to buyers that attend classes or go through a seminar. Choosing the best lender means the difference between closing the purchase on your home or losing out. Your experienced agent helps you differentiate among lenders, but check with your bank or credit union as well, since they may have a better arrangement for you.

Follow Through on Paperwork

In the end, much of the process comes down to you. Youíll be asked for a lot of paperwork, and the sooner you turn it in, the better your chances of a timely close. Keep track of other paperwork too. Your agent handles the contracts and submissions to the seller and the lender, but you need to read them and ask questions about anything you donít understand.

Know Why Youíre Buying

Back in the day, buying a home for a tax deduction as a financial tool made sense. But modern tax laws make that less of an incentive. If youíre buying a home to lower your tax bill, you might be disappointed. But when youíre purchasing a home because it is where you want to live and you want to make it yours, youíve got the right idea in mind.

Talk to your real estate agent about what youíre looking for in your first home and start on the path to owning your own home right away.




Categories: Buying  


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 12/10/2017

Many factors come into play when determining whether you can afford to buy a house. Since the monthly rent for an apartment is often close to what a mortgage payment would be, you can't help but wonder if your rent money would be better spent building equity in your own home.

While this is often the case, first-time home buyers often underestimate or overlook expenses that accompany home ownership. Although a mortgage broker or bank loan officer can help you calculate the maximum mortgage you can afford, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you weigh your options.

  • Create a detailed budget. By taking the time to figure out how your income stacks up to your monthly expenses, you can get a clearer picture of your financial situation. If you have a good credit score, a positive monthly cash flow, and enough funds to pay closing costs and a down payment, then home ownership may be a viable option. (Your credit score, which you can obtain once a year for free from the three main credit reporting companies, will have a major impact on both your interest rate and your monthly mortgage payments.)
  • Factor in other expenses: Figuring out your current budget is relatively easy, but predicting your future budget as a homeowner can be a lot more challenging. A big part of the equation will depend on the amount of property taxes and school taxes that will be tacked on to your mortgage costs. A real estate agent can provide you with those figures, as well as other information you need to calculate how affordable it would be to live in a particular house. They have access to a wide range of relevant information, such as utility expenses, water bills, and homeowner association fees (if there are any). Since property taxes sometimes cover the cost of services like garbage and yard waste collection, you may not have to factor in those items into your projected budget. Your real estate agent can help you come up with a rough estimate of home maintenance costs -- especially if they're familiar with the history of the home you're considering buying. As the process moves forward, a property inspector can provide you with more details about the condition of the home and whether any costly repairs are likely to be needed soon.
  • Home maintenance and furnishing costs: Other possible expenses to consider when estimating the cost of home ownership include yard maintenance, landscaping, HVAC service calls, electrician services, plumbing repairs, and homeowners' insurance. If you're a first-time home owner, there's also a good chance you'll need to buy some furniture to fill out those additional rooms!
  • Buying your first home definitely takes a lot of planning, budgeting, and research, but the rewards of owning your own home will more than justify the effort!