First Home

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First time homebuyer?

Making the decision to buy a home is a great one and admittedly a little scary. I get it, you’re jumping into what is likely going to be the biggest purchase of your life with no experience and maybe a horror story or two as reference.

The good news is a little preparation can go a long way and help you approach this major decision with confidence. Working with an agent who understands the process and has experience working with first-time buyers is key to a successful transaction. While the process for finding and buying homes these days may have changed, and in many ways has become easier by using technology, one truth always rings true: location, location, location.

You probably have an idea of which neighborhoods you want to live in but it is critical to do your homework so you choose the right location. Talk to friends, family and co-workers, drive around town, visit restaurants and stores and talk to neighbors in areas that interest you. Visit open houses with your agent so you can view homes on the inside. Look at homes on the internet, evaluate style, size, price and how long the homes stay on the market.

You can find a real estate agent while you’re still working on this process. However, your choice of agent also depends on where you want to live. A neighborhood expert will help you find the best house at the best price. You may not know this, but even buyers benefit from using a real estate agent. It costs you nothing and the agent’s job goes well beyond finding the home. In fact, it is after you have found the home that the agent really goes to work. Your agent will handle all the behind-thescenes activities including helping you structure a great offer, presenting the offer and then managing any issues that pop up along the way.

Ready. Set. Buy.

The first step is to get pre-approved with a quality lender so you know what you can afford.

No one likes falling in love with the perfect home only to find out later that it is out of their price range. Finding out how much house you can afford and how much cash you will need to bring to the closing is important. Having some credit issues is not the end of the world, but just realize that this part of the process could take several months.

Make sure you’re ready to buy.

If you don’t have cash for a down payment, closing costs and other expenses, you might consider holding off. A good agent will help you understand what to expect when it comes to expenses and can even match you to a loan officer that will walk you through the numbers. 

Visit your favorite neighborhoods at different times.

Most neighborhoods are quiet in the middle of the day but it is important to see what the area is like on a Saturday night. What’s it like in rush hour in the morning or in the evening?

Talk to the neighbors.

Ask about the neighborhood and about the homes you’re considering. The neighbors will know it all from barking dogs, to utility bills, and everything in between.

Be ready to move quickly once you find the home you want

In Kansas City good homes that are well-priced almost always sell quickly. It’s OK to take some time to think before you make an offer, but you might not want to wait a few weeks or that perfect home could be gone. Your agent can provide invaluable advice here.