5 First Time Home Buyers Tips
For a first time home buyer, Utah presents an excellent opportunity to turn your dreams into reality. With a variety of mortgage and down payment assistance plans and a burgeoning market of top-tier properties, buying a home in Utah is a good choice for individuals, families, and anyone who’s looking for a home that can grow with them.
Still, first-time homebuyers—Utah, surrounding states, or anywhere else in the country—often face a number of common problems that can put extra stress on the process. Buying a home, and especially your first, is a major decision—the more you know going into it, the better off you’ll be. Below, we’ll tackle some of the standard problems first time home buyers face, with expert advice that any soon-to-be first time home buyer in Utah can benefit from.
1. Know your budget (and stick to it)
New homes in Utah run the gamut in terms of purchase price. It’s important to know exactly what you’re working with in terms of your budget ceiling and to be firm in making sure you don’t go above it. This can be a difficult lesson for first time home buyers to learn since the temptation is usually there to spend a little bit more and get a little bit more. However, your home is a long-term investment, and one of the best ways to build up your financial health over time—provided you spend smartly.
Work with a mortgage broker and/or a financial advisor to come up with a budget based on your current finances and future goals. Once you know exactly what you’re working with in terms of budget, you’ll be able to work with an agent to find the perfect property for your money. Speaking of….
2. Work with a qualified agent
It’s a common misconception among first time home buyers that you don’t need to work with a real estate agent. And while it’s true that you can browse home listings on your own, when it comes to the nitty-gritty of purchasing a home—the real estate lingo, the back and forth scheduling, the negotiations, etc.—it’s always wise to have an expert on your side. As an added bonus, it’s usually the seller who covers the buyer’s agent’s commission, so you get all of the benefits of working with a home buying pro without having to pay anything extra.
So how do you make sure you choose the right agent? Hire someone who you not only like, but who you communicate well with. As a first time home buyer, it’s natural that you’ll have a lot of questions. By bringing on an agent who can easily break down complex terms, conditions, and next steps for you, you give yourself an advantage in the market and increase your likelihood of getting a great price on a great home.
3. Be flexible on location
First time home buyers who limit their search to just one town or neighborhood are doing themselves a disservice when it comes to making sure they end up in their ideal property. Down in the southwest corner of Utah where we’re located, we often meet new buyers who are unwavering in their location choice—that is, until they see what else is available in surrounding towns. Be open-minded about your search parameters, and consider expanding your home hunt to neighboring areas. You may be surprised to learn what a couple miles in another direction can get you.
4. Don’t get stuck on a list of preferences
All home buyers are entitled to have a list of preferences they’d like for their new home, but it’s important to remember that it’s rare to find a home that checks off every single box for you. Don’t budge on the things that you consider truly necessary—such as a set number of bedrooms or a yard for your pup—but do be flexible when it comes to the things that aren’t ideal but can be changed. For example, an orange kitchen or outdated shag carpeting might not be your cup of tea, but aesthetics are easy to change. Focus on the bones of the properties you see and don’t write off a great home just because it needs a coat of paint.
5. Think of the future
If you’ve always rented, it’s hard to imagine living in a home for a long period of time. But as a home buyer, you’re likely going to be staying put for a while. For that reason, be conscious of purchasing a home that fits not only your current needs but also your future ones. If you intend to grow your family one day or dream of starting an at-home business, you’ll want to buy a house that can expand along with your goals. Discuss your future plans with your agent so they can help you find a home that meets your needs now, and your needs later.
Saint George Real Estate for First Time Buyers
St. George, Utah, has a little bit for everybody. With exquisite natural beauty, a storied history, and a rapidly growing population of young families, it’s an ideal choice for first time home buyers, especially those who are looking for a little bit of paradise with their property.
With the Hammer Team, you can find your perfect place to call home in St. George or elsewhere in the Beehive State. We’ll help you find new homes for sale in Utah with easy-to-use search tools that let you browse listings by price range, county, property features, and/or number of days on the market. Visit our blog page for more advice for buyers, including tips for working with your realtor, insight on the luxury home market, and insider tips on living in Utah.
Whether you’re looking for your first home or your last home, let’s work together to get you something great. Fill out the contact form below and get in touch with us today!