They say hindsight is 20/20, but when it comes to our homes, the view can be a bit rose-colored. After all, a home is a safe space, one that’s full of good memories and unique quirks that feel special simply because it is ours. This is especially true of a person’s first home. After months of saving for a down payment and hunting for the perfect property, it’s easy to understand why so many feel protective of their beloved first home.
That’s not to say, however, that first-time homebuyers don’t ever have regrets. On the contrary, many homeowners find that what they think they wanted in a house is actually not at all important in the long run. Conversely, some first-time homeowners discover that their initial preferences for things like hardwood, carpeting, or single-floor living don’t work for their lifestyle.
It’s not just features of the home to consider, either. From getting approved for a mortgage to finding a professional with their home inspection certification to take a look at the house, there is definitely a learning curve to buying a home!
If you’re hoping for insight into the some of the most common lessons learned by first-time homebuyers, look no further: we’ve got the tips you need to help ensure your home is one you’ll love for years to come.
Figure Out Finances Before Applying for a Mortgage
Those eager to dive into house hunting will be disappointed by this first tip, but don’t let the wind out of your sails quite yet. It’s important to have your finances ready for the bank to inspect before applying for a mortgage, but the process doesn’t have to take a long time. Entrepreneurs and freelancers, in particular, will appreciate the extra time to move money from savings to checking accounts, account for any financial gifts extended by family members and generally organize their budget. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a home, have it inspected by a professional with their home inspection certification, and find out your mortgage application has been denied!
Find Certified Professionals for Home Inspections
Believe it or not, home inspections aren’t required for real estate sales in some states. While it’s hard to believe anyone would want to make such a large investment without first having the property inspected, it’s considered optional in many places. Regardless of what your local laws say about home inspections, it’s worth finding an experienced professional with their home inspection certification to take a look. Not only can home inspectors help you spot areas for concern, but they can also educate you on the systems installed in the home and forecast replacement and maintenance expectations for the future.
Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew with Fixer-Uppers
Home renovation shows have captured the attention of American audiences for years. Though entertaining, these programs have a way of glossing over the expenses and stress often associated with fixing up an older home. While home inspectors can earn a great living digging into these properties and spotting just how many challenges will need attending to, the average first-time homebuyer isn’t necessarily skilled enough to take on such tasks. While you might have grand visions for the changes you plan to make to a home, it’s important to understand the full weight of the projects before agreeing to tackle them.
Embrace the Negotiation Process
There are very few opportunities to negotiate a price when shopping in the United States. Other than the wheeling and dealing done at most car dealerships, shoppers are generally faced with a fixed price when making purchases. This lack of negotiation experience can deter many homebuyers from playing hardball with sellers. It’s typically worth negotiating terms with the owner of the home you’re interested in, even if the process makes you a little nervous. Price is just one aspect of negotiations. Consider asking for things like window blinds, the refrigerator and any other furniture or appliances you’d like to remain in the home.
Trust the Experts
Whether you’re a hopeful first-time homebuyer or an aspiring home inspector, it’s easy to see the value that industry experts to this process. It takes a village of realtors, mortgage brokers, underwriters, and contractors to help buyers find, buy and move into their first home. These experts know their stuff and should be consulted at any hint of hesitation on the buyer’s part.
Anyone hoping to pursue their home inspection certification should consider these common homeowner tips when working with clients for the first time. Of course, turning a goal into reality is made easier with the right resources. Our site is chock full of courses, bonus material and other tools to help aspiring home inspectors begin their careers. Consider registering for classes with ICA today!