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4 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Tue, Sep 04, 2018 at 4:05PM

4 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home is not only a major investment, it’s a new chapter in your life. You should be proud of yourself for making this life-changing decision. With focus and determination, your home can provide years of service and satisfaction for you and your loved ones.

Whether you’re starting a family, venturing out on your own for the first time, or any other scenario, it’s important to keep in mind valuable advice to make this transition smooth and enjoyable. Here’s how to get started:

1) Pre-Approval and Beginning Stages

You’ve likely heard about the pre-approval process. Essentially, this centers on different loans for which you qualify. Here’s also where you’ll glean details about your ideal down payment, potential credits, and more.

At this stage, you should also start or beef up savings, and/or set aside cash reserves specifically for the purchase and initial maintenance of your new home. While many lenders now require a 20 percent down payment, it’s still possible to find outlets that will accept three percent or less in some situations.

Next, determine whether or not you’ll partner with a real estate agent. This decision is entirely up to your discretion. Some people appreciate the ease and peace of mind that comes from such professionals, while others prefer to approach the home buying process on their own. 

2) Focus on the Details

Regardless of whether you’re working with a REALTOR® or purchasing your home directly from the current owner, you’ll want to be sure there are no surprises. Accomplish that goal by first scheduling a thorough home inspection. It’s also helpful to know the latest property value assessments for other similar homes in the area.

Be sure to get detailed information on any significant upgrades or maintenance made to the property. Avoid late-in-the-game surprises by ensuring you fully understand closing and other costs. Then, speak with a friendly and knowledgeable insurance agent who can help you investigate multi-policy options. You could get big savings by bundling your new homeowner’s insurance with automobile and/or other coverage.

At this point, it’s also wise to research local and state assistance programs. Many cities and states offer valuable incentives to first-time home buyers, which over the long-term could save you money.

3) Be Realistic and Open-Minded

While some people specifically search for a “forever home” they’ll enjoy for a lifetime, many first-time home buyers purchase with the idea of moving in five or ten years. It can be difficult to predict future changes in jobs, family status, and other factors. That’s why it’s important to select a property that matches your current lifestyle preferences and requirements.

In addition, it’s wise to keep in mind that minor cosmetic changes and updates to a property can be affordable and straight-forward. For example, repainting walls from an undesirable color is simple and cost-effective. By contrast, if a home you’re considering requires major upgrades to match your wants and needs, it might be better to find another property.

The bottom line is that no home is perfect. However, there are ways to enhance and protect your investment. That includes flood insurance and other considerations.

4) Get Insurance Coverage

As mentioned, securing comprehensive insurance gives you the coverage and peace of mind that you’re protected under a variety of situations. Along with homeowners insurance, other popular selections include flood insurance, bundled options, and more. Speak with a trusted and reputable agent to learn more about all the choices available to you.

Since 2002, we’ve helped countless Florida residents with all their insurance needs. Both individuals and business owners benefit from our coverage areas. That includes business and commercial, construction insurance, tree care, risk management, homeowners, automobile, insurance and more. Contact us today to learn more about how we can make your life easier, and help keep you, your loved ones, and your property consistently protected.

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