3 lessons I learned about paying for my first home

By Brianna Frazier

Home purchase is a dream of almost every American. Buying my first home at 26, the process was both exciting but off course with a few challenges here and there. The experiences taught me a lot of new things I knew not about. Few of the lessons I learnt were;

Working with a real estate agent

Having a realtor is among the best choices one could ever make. Home buying is a process that involves a lot of transactions and signatures. After signing the contract of home buying, several procedures such as home inspections and appraisals follow.  If the home in question has problems that need to be repaired then it is important to discuss the matter with the seller. There are also loans that need to be paid for , insurances to buy not forgetting that  there are property that are usually under a home ownership association.

Realtors in such instances are essential since they have more experience about home purchase thus they smoothen the whole process. A realtor represented me in the home buying process and in an instance where we visited one of the home houses. Since he had more experienced in the field, he was able to realize that the home was overcharged and we baked out in time. I got the realtor from a family friend who had bought a home earlier than me and since the allies had accredited the realtor I was confident in him. Working with the real estate agent was a good experience since he was there in every stage of the home purchase and at no single point did I feel left out. I realized that one should be careful when selecting a realtor and when possible have a personal relationship, having good ties helped me in the entire process.

One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was hiring an un-collaborative attorney since during closing he was unavailable all along and could not answer my calls leaving me stranded. It became worse when I would engage a conference call and the mortgage lenders, seller and his agent failed to turn up which extended to physical meetings. It is because the teams had no history of ever working in harmony. It really cost me a lot especially b4ecause I ended up wasting a lot of time and money before I got the home.

Financial lessons

Most sellers get mix up when the pre-approval letter indicates that one can receive more money than the actual amount the seller needs. As for my pre approval letter, it indicated that I was entitled to more money than I actually needed to buy my first home. Since I very well knew I did not need the whole amount so I was able to get money that was just enough.

Closing costs can end up being complicated especially if it the first time. They include expenses out of the pocket such as notary fees, cost of deed and title insurance. As according to my realtor’s advice, I asked for a credit from my seller which is a common practice and it helped me in knowing the amount of money to prepare for upfront. I also realized that one can ask from the mortgage lender the extent at which they support the buyer towards the closing costs. I thought that it was a good idea to pay more money in the closing cost but I was surprised when my real estate agent advised me not to.

I always read from the newspapers and journals about the PMI and always had a negative attitude. However when I purchased my first home, I bought a PMI which so far has been manageable. The insurance can be a blessing or a curse depending on how one perceives it. Many people do not like it since there are additional monthly rates involved which do not add up home equity. I preferred having a PMI rather than spend all my saving on the down payment and that way I am able to comfortable service the loan and at the same time have some saving to cater for renovation and maintaining the home.

Do not be afraid to get aggressive

Home purchase being a personal and financial commitment, it is important to push for answers one need in order to make an informed decision. At the stage as buyer one should not be afraid of not offending anyone in the process of seeking for answers. However, it is not advisable to be rude and arrogant. Buyers conduct their due diligence and confidently run necessary inspection making sure they do not settle for less neither do they buy a home that does not fit their interests. I in partnership with my realtor had t5o be hard on the seller and their realtors otherwise I would have bought an overcharged house with a lot of defects. Being aggressive had its own challenges which ended up being a blessing in disguise. It is because I backed out on several house especially a specific home I was particularly attached to but it had a lot of problems with the piping and was similarly expensive. Finally I settled on the house I currently live in and all has been okay.