First time buyers
People buy things because they want them.
Sounds simple enough. We buy because we want. But often the ‘want’ is seen as need. We tell ourselves we are buying because we need this. Certainly, most everyone ‘needs’ a home. But you can rent a home. No, we buy homes because we want them.
Step back before going any further, and examine whether you want to buy a home just because you want. We all want. It’s called attachment. We attach ourselves to our desires. Make sure your attachment hasn’t clouded your own best interests. We see that often enough in real estate. People buy on emotional terms. But when you buy a house, it’s a long term financial commitment. Maybe your individual life circumstances make it better to rent? Ultimately, we are all ‘renters’ on this planet. We truly own nothing in the end.
Perhaps that’s an unusual introduction to information for first time homebuyers, but we are not your usual REALTORS®. If it fits, really fits, we can help you buy a home. But if it doesn’t fit, there’s not enough commission money in the world that can pay us to give you bad advice. Our clients are like family, and we protect our family.
So start with that. Why do you want to buy a home? If we haven’t scared you off by this point, there is some good information here for first time buyers.
We can’t take credit for this. It comes directly from the US Government Housing site at HUD.gov. It’s a pretty good list of steps to take to buy a home.
Nine steps to buying a home
1. Figure out how much you can afford
2. Know your rights
3. Shop for a loan
4. Learn about homebuying programs
5. Shop for a home
6. Make an offer
7. Get a home inspection
8. Shop for homeowners insurance
9. Sign papers
Really good list. Everyone wants to start at Step 5, Shop for a home, and that’s OK with us. We like to show houses. And it’s all part of the educational process involved for buyers. But eventually you have to get back to Step 1, which is to Figure out how much you can afford.
We could go on, but the HUD site does it much better than we can. Take some time and read through it, then come back here.
We can help you meet a lender if you need one. We don’t favor anyone, or any business in particular, but we try to find somebody that will suit your needs from among the several mortgage lenders that we have used in the past with good results. It’s an important consideration. Predatory lending is real. We can help you avoid problematic mortgage brokers.
There are a few housing assistance programs in our area geared toward helping you buy, or offering downpayment assistance. That help comes with strings attached, and often they have no money in their budget. But we can help you see if any of them will be of assistance to you.
If you’re a veteran, first of all, please know that you have our deepest gratitude. Then, there are a a couple of sites that can be of help, but this one for CalVet is a good one you should check with:
As of this writing (10-09-2009) there are some tax credits available for first time homebuyers. We can help you check on their current availability. Right now, most first time homebuyers use FHA loans that you can get for as little as 3.5% down. Also as of today, there is a USDA mortgage loan that offers 100% financing, which may suit your needs. We can help you explore that.
We’re here to help. Most people don’t buy houses every day, but we help people buy and sell all day long. We can help you make your own informed decisions about your housing needs, and maybe, if it fits, help you realize your desires.