NJM Blog

7 Essential Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

7 Essential Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying your first new home is an exciting milestone in your life. It's a new experience that should be fun. And it can be, as long as you do your research and follow these essential tips for first-time home buyers!

  1. Assess your financial situation before you start looking for homes. Save ahead of time so that you have enough money for your down payment. Talk with mortgage lenders well in advance of your search to learn qualification details.

  2. Factor in other costs such as homeowners insurance, property taxes, and anticipated utilities when you set a budget — the cost of a house goes well beyond the list price. You'll also be responsible for any maintenance or repairs that come up, so it's good to have some money set aside for that. Don't forget to ask if each house is in an association — that will add another monthly fee.

  3. Make a list of all your must-haves in your new home — it will make the process easier for you and your realtor. Keep in mind that it's difficult to find one house with that has everything you want, so focus on what you need and remember that you can add things to your house later.

  4. Compare new and used homes. Some perks of new homes include open floor plans, master bedroom suites, and island-centric kitchens. On the other hand, if you're looking for a home with existing amenities and features (and if you're not afraid to make some repairs), a previously lived-in home might be a good fit for you.

  5. Consider more than just aesthetics. New homes tend to be about 30% more energy efficient.

  6. Location, location, location! Are you a big shopper? Do you enjoy walking instead of driving? Research the closest retail and entertainment centers and make sure they suit your needs. Do you take public transportation to work? Check to see what bus stops or train stations are close by. Also keep in mind — the school district your house is in could affect its resale value down the road.

  7. Get organized! Keeping track of all of your needs and findings is a great way to consolidate, stay organized, and remember which homes are at the top of your list. After seeing several different houses, you might not remember your likes and dislikes from each.

By following these simple tips, you'll be on your way to owning your first house and turning it into a home!

Do you have any other tips for first-time home buyers?