5 Tips For First Time Home Buyers

I read some interesting statistics from the National Association of REALTORS that first time buyers accounted for 50% of home sales in 2010. With prices now seen as more affordable in most markets some renters who have been on the sidelines for a while are obviously getting into the home ownership market.

Here’s 5 tips to consider for first time buyers.

1. Take your time.
While the market is still favoring buyers there is no rush. Take your time and evaluate a number of properties. The stats for 2010 were

  • Number of weeks searched: 12
  • Number of homes seen: 15

So it’s a 3 month process for most people searching for a home and then with at least 30 days to close some patience is advised.

2. Get a great loan officer.

Most first time buyers will be taking some form of loan on the their first home. There are many options in the mortgage market and and good loan officer will be on your side in the process. Richard Hartian gives 9 Tips for finding a loan officer.

3. Avoid short sales.
Unless you have plenty of time to  wait for responses from banks and are willing to take on a slightly higher level of risk short sales should be avoided. There are some great deals to be had on short sales but in my market of Scottsdale it seems most of the ones going through are cash deals. Cash and patience seem to be king right now.

4. Work with a REALTOR.
Because first time buyers have not bought or sold a house before I find some do not know that they can work with a REALTOR for free when buying a house. The REALTOR gets paid by the seller for introducing the sale, so there is really no reason for a buyer not to hire a real estate agent to do some of the leg work on their behalf.

5. Remember you are buying a home.
Sometimes buyers can get so absorbed in the financial and details side of a real estate transaction that they forget why they are buying a home in the first place. Homeownership is still a big part of the American dream, so always take the time to remember why you want to step on to the property ladder and visualize yourself living in the property as your home.

Buying a first home is a very exciting time, I hope these 5 quicks tips help you in the process.