You Ask, We Answer: What Are 5 Things First Time Homebuyers Should Know?
Buying a home for the first time can feel thrilling at some moments, and overwhelmingly stressful at others. But there are a few ways to help tip the balance so the stress of it all takes a backseat to one of the most exciting decisions of your life–and with a little preparation beforehand, you may even come to enjoy the process of being a first time home buyer. Really! Read on for our top 5 things first time Connecticut home buyers should know.
Prepare your finances
You may have had a case of “homebuyer fever” for a while now–signing up for new listing alerts, scrolling through countless Connecticut homes for sale online, creating mood boards for how you’ll decorate when the time comes. But while the promise of owning your own home is no doubt exciting and inspiring, the most important step you can take in making your dreams of homeownership come true is to prepare your finances.
While many of us think we know what we can afford, getting down to brass tacks and understanding how much you’ll need for a down payment, what kind of mortgage loan makes the most sense for you, what closing costs will be, and how much your monthly mortgage payment and annual taxes will be are all important factors in deciding to become a first time home buyer. Meeting with a trusted lender is a crucial first step in determining your price range for purchasing your first Connecticut home. If you don’t already have one in mind, contact your local Calcagni Real Estate agent. With over 50 years in Connecticut real estate, Calcagni agents have many trusted vendor contacts they’ll be able to recommend, including the best local mortgage lenders.
Which brings us to our next helpful hint for first time home buyers…
Find a Calcagni Real Estate agent
Working with a licensed Realtor is crucial when buying your first home–and when you work with a Calcagni Real Estate agent, you’ll have access to all the listings on the market that fit your criteria, plus the unparalleled level of expertise, professionalism, and passion that Calcagni agents bring to the table. Trust us–for as many years as we’ve been in business, there’s nothing Calcagni agents haven’t seen or dealt with!
Your Calcagni Real Estate agent can notify you about listings, schedule showings, help you manage what paperwork is due when, and will be instrumental in helping you every step of the way, from the first showing to going to contract to closing. If there are negotiations–aren’t there always? –your Calcagni Realtor will be your representative and advocate. And because Calcagni Real Estate agents are local to the Connecticut market, you’ll also benefit from our insights about the town you’re interested in!
Give yourself plenty of time
Here’s the thing about buying your first home (or any home, for that matter!): It inevitably takes longer than you think it will. Finding a home that meets your criteria and your budget can often be a time consuming process. If you don’t have a time crunch to move by a certain date, try and be patient with yourself and the local Connecticut real estate market. Eventually, more houses will hit the market, and with any luck, there will be some that appeal to you.
We all have ideas of what our first home will look like. In a perfect world, the most work it might need would be some touch-up paint! But sometimes reality can clash with what we thought we’d be able to afford, or what kind of cosmetic or structural updates a house will need to make it livable for our circumstances.
Flexibility can go a long way in helping you buy your first home. Paint and wallpaper can be repainted or stripped; dark wood can be restained or painted to align more with your aesthetic. Cabinets can be skinned or replaced; carpeting can be pulled up to reveal hardwood underneath. Try not to be too put-off by these types of cosmetic updates and instead, focus on the layout of the home: Does it make sense for you and your family? Is it conducive to how you live your day-to-day life? And pay attention to the “unsexy” things like the age of the roof, water heater, HVAC system if there is one; visit a home you’re interested in at different times of day so you get a feel for the neighborhood and varying noise levels.
While your first home may not be the “ideal” of what you thought you’d be moving into, with time and creativity, you can create the home you’ve been daydreaming about for what feels like forever.
Get a home inspection
Last but not least, when you’re buying a home for the first time, don’t skip the home inspection. A licensed home inspector will be able to check for things that you may not consider, and will write a thorough report that will be instrumental in helping you decide whether or not you want to move forward with the purchase of your first home.
A home inspection will help you understand the state of the roof, whether there’s an underground oil tank, how old the furnace and water heater are, if there are any issues with the foundation or if there are any signs of water damage–and more! Having a broader picture of the home you’re buying beyond what meets the eye is crucial. The more you know about the home you want to buy, the more you can understand how much money it will really cost you to buy in and keep it functioning as it should.