New year, new you. Ringing in 2018 with new resolutions is a great way to start the year off on the right foot. From resolutions of weight loss, financial freedom, or more up our alley, homeownership! Make 2018 the year you stop paying someone else’s mortgage and start making your own mortgage payments, and let us help you do just that!


Okay, so this probably sounds overwhelming, cumbersome, any other adjective you want to use to describe it; down right frightening. But it doesn’t have to be!


We’ve compiled a short list to get your first time home buying process underway; and how we can help you along the way.


First things first; find yourself a realtor, someone who is willing to listen to you, someone who will give you an honest opinion, someone who has your best interest in mind and someone you want to spend some time with both in person and on the phone!


Finding your realtor is almost like using a dating app, of course there’s hundreds for you to choose from all of which are just hoping that you’re going to ‘swipe right’ and contact them, but do your research! Find someone who is knowledgeable, read testimonials and reviews! It’s important for you to be comfortable, spending your evenings or Saturday afternoons with just anyone opposed to someone who is as excited as you are for this process, can make a huge difference in your home buying process! To note; you as the buyer can choose any realtor which fits your needs, you’re not bound to using the listing agent on the property you’ve been drooling over! Also, you, as the buyer, are not responsible for paying the realtor’s commission; that is paid through the seller of the home; it’s almost as if using a realtor to buy a home is a free bonus to you!


Next thing is getting in touch with a mortgage officer. Your realtor can help you with this, there are several options and programs available for the home buying process. We’re so far beyond the traditional, conventional 20% down option don’t let that thought hold you back! There are now programs where putting as little as 3% down or even 0% down are available. A mortgage broker will also give you one of the most vital pieces of information you’ll want to know, the golden ticket, your pre-approval amount!


Next is just a general idea, if you will. As realtors, we understand that your lifestyle doesn’t end the second you make the first step or decision to purchase your home, and we don’t expect that at all! In fact, we don’t want you to change your entire lifestyle to afford your home. But, with that said, maybe purchasing that new car could wait until you’ve closed on your new home? Or we all know how tempting saving that additional 20% can be by opening *insert store’s* credit card, but could you hold off on becoming a ‘maxxinista’ for a couple more months? It’ll save you some headache and possibly your new home purchase in the long run; and really that’s what you’re end goal is right?


Now, waiting until after all of that has been completed to start looking for your perfect home is unrealistic, and down right impossible! But now is the time to start your home search, knowing what you can comfortably afford and start weighing out your options; single family home, multi-family home to offset some of your expenses, a condo where more than likely you do not have to worry about exterior maintenance, there’s an abundance of options and this is where the fun begins!

Go into the home search with a short list of non-negotiables; things you absolutely know you have to have in your home, maybe a garage for the negative degree cold snaps is important, or a backyard large enough for your dogs to run freely, or maybe it’s that you have to have that second bathroom so you can have your own space while getting ready in the morning (my personal favorite). Whatever these may be, they’re important to you and advising your realtor of these are extremely helpful. They may have insight or access to listings that aren’t quite on the market yet, or if their personal home is exactly what would fit your needs, that’s always for sale too, not speaking from experience at all…


After finding your dream home it’s time for the offer, the sweet spot between what the seller is requesting from the list price and what you, the buyer, are willing to pay. Market trends dictate a lot of the ebb and flows of below list price or above list price offers, for obvious reasons. We are creative, us realtors. We can and want to find a number that works for all parties because we want you to be in a place you love at a price that works for you and your budget!


Once that offer is accepted you’re well on your way! Next up is inspections which is also something your realtor can help you with in selecting the needed inspections for your home (no need in testing city water for arsenic, because there’s no way to make those changes to your water!). Realtors can also provide you with a list of local home inspectors and this give you a window to do your research and determine who you want to use for an inspector and which inspections you’d like to have completed.


Following the inspections comes the appraisal, equally as nerve wracking as the offer! Ensuring the home’s value is worth what you’re going to pay for it, is huge! One of the last things you want to do it offer to pay more for a home that what it is actually worth in the eyes of the appraiser, which circles back to choosing yourself the right agent who is knowledgeable of market trends and of the area.


Lastly, closing the deal! You’ve now waited patiently for the day to come, you’re ready to swap your down payment check for those coveted house keys and get on with planning your housewarming party!


Here at The Parent Group, we want to be your home matchmaker. We want to help you through the hiccups and be an available resource in your home buying process. Of course this is just a brief synopsis and there’s hundreds of variables to throw into the mix, but we’re only a phone call away to help you find a place to call home.




This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.