Duke Warner Realty

Things to Know when Buying your First Home

Bend Oregon Real Estate

If you have never owned a home before and you are thinking now is the time for you to buy your first home, then you will find a lot of helpful information here. The better-educated that you are on the subject of home buying, the easier the process will be. Here are things that you want to know about purchasing your first home:

Credit scores matter

The lender you will be getting your home loan from will use your credit score to determine your creditworthiness. When you have a higher score, the lender will see you as that much less of a risk. There is also an added incentive for you to try to get your credit score as high as possible when you are preparing to purchase your first home.

A lower interest rate means that you will be paying less for the home. The less you pay for the home, the smaller your down payment will be, and the smaller your monthly mortgage payments will be. If you want to improve your credit score before you start the home buying process, you will be glad to know you can see an increase soon if you do the right things. Some of the things you can do to improve your credit score quickly include:

* Paying down your credit lines
* Paying off some of your balances
* Not opening any new accounts until after you purchase a home
* Reporting false information on your credit report and having it removed

Real estate agents are important

When you decide to start looking for your first home, you want to work with a real estate agent. There are a lot of things you won’t know about purchasing a home unless you have experience working in the real estate field. The realtor will help you find the right home, help you through the whole buying process, and be there to answer any questions you have.

Also, the real estate agent will be able to show you any homes that have just come on the market that they feel would be perfect for you. Since good homes being sold for good prices can go quickly, having a realtor on your side can make all of the difference when it comes to you having a chance at a great home.

Being available to your realtor is a must

When you are trying to buy your first home, you don’t want to miss out on the chance to see what may have ended up being the perfect home for your family. If you only give your real estate agent one number to reach you, then they may call that number when a great house hits the market only to find that you don’t answer.

By the time you hear their message and get back to them, you may find that someone else has already made an offer on the home, the sellers accepted the offer, and now the sale is pending. If this happens, the only thing that you can do is to put in a backup offer, but this will only benefit you if something happens with the sale that is already pending. It’s best for your realtor to have your cell number, your spouse’s number, your home and work numbers, your email address, and any other forms of contact, so you will always be reachable no matter where you are.

Knowing what you want in a home is crucial

Realize that the more options you give the realtor, the easier it will be for you to find the right home. You want to keep in mind that when you are too specific with what you want in a home, you can end up waiting a long time before one that meets your criteria even goes on the market. Even when such a house does go up for sale, you still need to make sure it is in your price range, and the owners will still need to accept your offer.

When you decide to buy your first home, you don’t want to be too flippant when it comes to telling the real estate agent what you want. However, you also don’t want to miss out on a great home because you told the realtor you must have a fireplace when the truth is that you would forego the fireplace for the right home. This is why it’s a good idea to give your realtor a sheet listing the things that your home must have that are 100% non-negotiable and listing the things you would really like the home to have, but that you are willing to compromise on.

If you aren’t sure of certain things, then turn to the realtor for help. This way, you really know what you are requesting. For example, if you have no idea what square footage looks like in a home, then you can easily make the mistake of telling the agent you must have a 3,000 square foot home when you really want a tiny home. In reality, this is a pretty large house. So, if you have no idea what size of home you want, then the realtor can take you out to view homes of different sizes and let you know what the square footage is, so you have a frame of reference and can tell them which you prefer from a better-educated standpoint.

Also, do some research on the pros and cons of different features and amenities. You might think you really want something because it seems like it would be great to have. However, the reality may be that having that amenity may also come with much higher monthly bills and a lot of added maintenance you will quickly grow to hate. For example, you might think you want a pool because a few times a year you like to go to the local plunge. However, once you understand how much regular maintenance is involved with having a pool and how much it can raise your bills, you may decide you really wouldn’t like to have a home with a pool after all. Instead, you will always have the option of putting up an above ground pool during the hot months that you can take down once you are done with swimming for the season.

Before you decide on the style of home you prefer, take some time researching the various types of homes that are commonly found in your region, so you can come up with a list of a number of types you like. You might see that when it comes to some styles, they have much more to offer than you originally knew. For example, a Santa Fe style home will have a great look to it, but there is also the benefit that most of them have tile roofs, which many people like. Also, there are many options that will be available to you when it comes to creating great landscaping that is interesting and creative when you go with a Santa Fe home. If you’ve never paid attention to them before, then you might let a great Santa Fe style home slip right past you.

Choosing all the areas you prefer will be a big help

Get to know the different areas in the state and county that you plan on buying a home in. Use online research to pin down the cities and neighborhoods you think you might like. Narrow things down to all of the areas you would be willing to live in and noting all of the ones that you would never even consider. This way, if the real estate agent gives you a long list of potential homes and there are things you like about all of them, you can start your search by checking out the homes that are in your most preferred neighborhoods first. You can span out to your next most preferred areas and so on until you finally find the home that is right for you.

When you are trying to determine the best neighborhoods for you, there are many things that you want to consider. You should think about how much of a commute you would have going to and from work. You also want to make sure you have fast access to a hospital if someone in your family tends to need the hospital more than most people. Also, consider the school district you would be living in if you have children that will be going to school in that district. Pay attention to other things like shopping centers, parks, gyms, restaurants, and other places that you usually go to frequently and make sure you won’t have to cut too many things out of your lifestyle that you and your family really enjoy.

If you travel by plane or train often, or you tend to have people come visit you from out of the area who come in on planes or trains, then it is a good idea to look for a home that isn’t too far from the airport or the train station. Also, if you tend to rent cars often and are thinking about moving to a smaller community, you may want to make sure you would have access to a car rental company because some small communities don’t offer this.

If you are planning on buying a home that is in a different area you aren’t all that familiar with, then the weather is another thing that you should be researching. Even a 20-minute drive can have you dealing with completely different weather conditions. If you live just a bit downhill from a mountain range now and you rarely ever get snow that sticks, driving 20 minutes closer to that mountain can have you shoveling your driveway on a regular basis during the winter months. This is why you never want to assume that the weather will be the same unless you plan on buying in the same city you already live in or you buy a home in a city you already know has similar weather.

Knowing what to do after the sale will be helpful

Once you have purchased your first home, you need to know what to do after escrow has closed and you take possession of the home. Some of the things that you will need to do is to call the utility companies and have them turn on the service to the home. You should call at least a couple of weeks before you plan on moving into the home so you know the companies have had time to turn the utilities on, or so you know they can schedule you an appointment for the day you will be at the house.

You also want to be sure you call to start trash service, which sometimes comes with another service, but sometimes it is handled as its own entity. Don’t forget to schedule things like the Internet and cable television. You may also want to research the nearest grocery stores to determine which ones have your favorite brands and which ones have the best prices. The prices can vary so much from one grocery store to the other that researching the prices ahead of time will be well worth it.


Now that you are better-versed on some of the things you want to know when you are planning on purchasing your first home, you will get through the process with a much better attitude because you won’t be as stressed out as someone who doesn’t have a clue as to what it is they should be doing during the various parts of the home buying process.