First Time home buying Fears
I’ve been working with quite a few “first time home buyers” lately. I enjoy it because they are amazingly positive and everything is new and full of possibility. However, it occurred to me that there are some fears that come along with that. So I thought I could discuss some of the big ones.
First time home buyers (You!) may be terrified just thinking about the home-buying process...Where to go? Which home to choose? Can I afford it? How do I get started etc.? Throughout my time as an Austin real estate professional, these are the challenges that I’ve seen that can potentially cause fear. I share with you a perspective that should help you deal with this fear and help you to keep moving forward with the home buying process.
FIRST: (This is the first one every time!)
Is this the “Right Time” to buy?There is no 'perfect' time to buy, any more than there is a “right time” to sell. If you find a new home now, don't try to second-guess the interest rates or the housing market by waiting. No one has a crystal ball. If you do, let me know… I have some questions about the upcoming lotto numbers.
Changes don't usually occur fast enough to make that much difference in price, and remember a “good” home, for a “good” price, in a “good” neighborhood WILL NOT STAY ON THE MARKET LONG. Especially the way the Austin TX market is currently.
'FOR SALE' signs in yards DO NOT guarantee that those homes are still available. Often times, real estate signs will remain in the yard until the home has officially 'closed' and is off the market. This happens primarily because deals fall through (do not work out) and the home has to be put back on the market, after being taken off for that buyer.
Work with a Real Estate Agent! You will be able to verify the true status of the property at all times. If the deal falls through and you're working with an agent she/he can notify you immediately that the home is now back on the market. Remember, in some cases, they may take back-up offers. Talk to your Realtor.
Don't try to be a 'killer' negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price may lose you the home you love. Always remember that this is/was someone’s home and typically there is an emotional attachment. When someone is “insulted” by your initial offer, negotiations can get rough. If it’s the “right home” for you, discuss with your real estate professional and make a deal ensuring everyone walks away happy.
If you are bidding on a highly desirable home, you want to make sure your offer is attractive, stands out and gets the seller's acceptance. Austin is a multiple offer market!
Often times first time home buyers think that if the seller 'really' wants to sell they'll accept their offer. That is 'improper' thinking. Sellers' have a choice in the offer they'll accept just as you have the choice in the home you'll purchase.
If you love the home and feel that it is the 'perfect fit' for you, and/or your family, negotiate appropriately, fairly and wisely. Why miss out on the right home because you keep going back and forth with the seller over $1,500? Besides, $1,500 divided by 30 years (360 months) is a mere $4.16 cents more per month. Don't lose your dream home over dollars and cents!
Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate insurance availability, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers. (If it’s considered at all)
Before you make an offer on a home have your business in order!
Make sure you have a pre-approval letter, know how soon you can move (closing on a home usually takes 30-45 days from the date your offer is accepted). Therefore, you have to wrap up loose ends at your current residence.
Sellers don't like to have contingencies (i.e. stipulations) in the contract. For example, you can't close on the property until 90 days from the date of the accepted contract.
Remember there are other buyers in line looking at the same houses you may be considering. Be prepared. Be ready to play ball. Handle your business to help ensure a smooth transition.
Options! There are so many Options! Every home you visit with your Realtor will have things you love and things… well you don’t like as much. After visiting more than you care to count, the possibilities and combinations can blur together and become overwhelming.
Consider a few things:
Buying a home may seem scary, especially if it is your first home. New, unfamiliar terms are being thrown around, and it involves more money than you've ever spent. It seems so permanent! With good research, and a real estate professional on your side, you will gain a better understanding of the home buying process, and you will also be able to approach it realistically and without feeling overwhelmed.
Overcome your fears by knowing what to expect. Some people who are quite eligible to buy their own home have deep-seated fears that are keeping them from taking that important step. This is understandable. Whether you have been renting for several years and are a first-time buyer or you already own a home and want to understand the process better before making another purchase, you are entitled to be a little nervous about the whole home buying process.
A home is, after all, likely to be the largest single purchase you may ever make. Approaching the process with respect — even a little fear — is only natural. DO NOT let that fear get the better of you and keep you from experiencing the joys of homeownership.
Remember to help with the fear, call the Big Man.
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