Sunday, July 15, 2007

First Time's the Charm: Tips for Beginning Homebuyers

Buying a home in Fairfield County is oftentimes a difficult decision to begin with; the only prospect more daunting may be doing it for the first time. But by asking the right questions and considering a few simple but important issues, you can pave the way for some powerful beginner's luck.

Becoming a first-time homeowner has its uncertainties, but remember that you're not alone. A National Association of Realtors® survey says that in 2001 (the most recent year for which figures are available), first-timers made up nearly half of all homebuyers. If so many made the move, you can too.

Chances are they did it with the help of a real estate professional. Realtors® can navigate the complexities of the homebuying process, and let you concentrate on the rewards of this new experience. These professionals will tell you that there are three major points you should take into account: finding the right financing, investigating the community you're considering, and evaluating your prospective home's qualities.

Before your home-search begins it's helpful to determine what price-range you are comfortable with and get pre-approved for a loan. Many hopeful home-seekers will quit the search before they start, out of worry that they can't afford a down payment or sheer unfamiliarity with the financing process. But today those worries are often unfounded; there is an array of financing options available for aspiring homeowners of almost every income. For example, ERA Mortgage offers more than 100 different loan products, and one is likely to fit your unique financing needs.

Once you've gained confidence in that area, it's important to make sure you're familiar with the location you'd like to live in. Think about what you want in a community and how your chosen one meets these interests, including nearness to the city (or country), reputation of the school system, access to public transportation, and property values. This is another task that ERA Select Homes, is perfectly equipped to help you with.

You also need to evaluate the soundness of your possible new home. What condition are major components like the furnace, windows and roof in? Is it a house needing only cosmetic improvements which will one day pay for themselves in resale value, or structural repairs that will eat into your future profit? Professionals like an ERA® sales associates and a qualified home inspector can help you answer such questions with confidence.

Keep in mind that being new to all this does have its advantages – first-time homebuyers usually move on within a few years, so you have a flexibility that homeowners with more experience but also more burdens may not. Becoming a homeowner still poses many questions, but knowing which to ask and obtaining good guidance can help make sure you get it right the first time.