Financing Homes in Lake Tahoe and Truckee since 1992.

Ten Things Every First-Time Homeowner Should Know

There’s nothing quite like buying a house for the first time. Applying for a home loan and shopping for a house can be overwhelming. It’s important to educate yourself before dealing with realtors and sellers. Knowing these ten essential points can help to demystify the buying process and alleviate your stress. Remember that working with a mortgage banker in the Tahoe Basin is the best way to get the inside scoop on what’s happening in the local market and how it affects first-time homebuyers.

Your Credit Matters

Having good credit is key to securing a home loan. Talk to a mortgage broker about how your credit score will affect interest rates and buying options in the Truckee-Tahoe region. If your credit isn’t in great shape, make a credit repair plan or talk to a debt counselor.

Programs Assist First-Time Homebuyers

The state and federal governments run special programs to assist first-time homebuyers. In some cases, these programs reduce down payments for first-time buyers or help buyers secure lower interest rates. Your mortgage broker will help you understand these programs and who is qualified for them.

The Cost of Owning a Home is More Than Just the Purchase Price

Your home loan will cover the cost of purchasing your new house, but it won’t pay for everything else that comes along with being a homeowner. As you budget for your purchase, estimate how much money you’ll be spending every month in insurance, maintenance, utility bills and property taxes.

Being Preapproved for a Home Loan Ups Your Buying Power

Getting an experienced mortgage banker early in your home buying process is one of the best things that you can do. They can explain the loan process and help you get preapproved for a home loan at the start. This is one of the best ways to show sellers that you are serious about buying. Getting preapproval will also help you determine how much you can spend on a home.

Some Real Estate Agents Don’t Represent Buyers

Some first-time homebuyers believe that all real estate agents will represent their interests. However, this isn’t always true. Some agents are considered listing agents, working only for sellers. Other agents work only for buyers, while some agents work for both buyers and sellers. If you prefer extra guidance during the buying process, choose an agent who works only with buyers.

Comparative Market Research Matters

Before you make an offer on a house, ask your realtor to complete a comparative market analysis so that you can determine how much buyers are willing to spend on comparable homes in the Tahoe-Truckee region. Use this information to make a fair, competitive offer.

It’s All About Location

Nothing matters more when it comes to buying a new home than location. Remember that location will impact both the home’s value and your personal happiness. Whether you have children or not, consider buying in an area with a good school district as this tends to make property more valuable. These areas also tend to have the amenities and services that homeowners need to access on a regular basis.

You Have More Than One Home Loan Option

Not all home loans are alike. Different mortgages have different terms and are designed for different buying situations. Be honest and upfront with your mortgage bankerabout what you’re looking for in a loan to ensure that you don’t experience any borrower’s remorse.

Flexible Contracts Protect Buyers

If you’re going to make an offer on a house, it’s essential that you work with a realtor to create a contract that protects you in case anything doesn’t go as planned. A flexible contract will provide you with an escape plan if the home has a substantial flaw or appraises for lower than the purchase price.

Taking Your Time Always Pays Off in the End

Many first-time buyers are so eager to get into a new house that they forget to take their time and evaluate their options. Take your time to familiarize yourself with the housing market in the Tahoe Basin. Proceed with caution so that you don’t end up buying a house you hate.