Are you a Gen Zer looking to buy a house? You’re not alone. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, 36% of home buyers in 2019 were millennials, and that number is only expected to grow in 2020. More Gen Zers are entering the workforce and earning higher incomes, so they’re ready to start their own families and buy homes.
However, as a first-time home buyer, the process can be daunting. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of expert tips to help you through the process. From getting pre-approved for a mortgage to making an offer, we’ve got you covered.
1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage
This is one of the essential steps in the home-buying process. Getting pre-approved will give you a better idea of how much house you can afford and put you in a stronger negotiating position with sellers. Some sellers may not even consider offers from buyers who haven’t been pre-approved.
It would be best if you shopped around for the best mortgage rates and terms when getting pre-approved. Compare different lenders and ask about their fees and closing costs. If you have good credit, you may be able to get a lower interest rate. Depending on your financial situation, you may have various home loan options that you can explore. Ask your lender about all of your options so that you can make the best decision for your needs.
2. Make a realistic budget
It’s important to have a budget in mind when buying a home. You should consider your current expenses, as well as the costs of owning a home, such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and repairs. You may also want to save money for furniture and other household items.
It’s a good idea to start saving for a down payment early on. Aim for 20% of the purchase price, as this will help you avoid having to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). If you can’t afford a 20% down payment, you may still be able to qualify for a low-down-payment mortgage. Some lenders offer programs for first-time home buyers that allow for a down payment of as little as 3%.
3. Make a realistic offer
When you find a house you love, it’s tempting to make an offer that’s way above the asking price to beat out other potential buyers. However, this is often not realistic and can often backfire on buyers. If your offer is too low, the seller may not even counteroffer; if your offer is too high, you could end up paying more than the house is worth.
An experienced real estate agent can help you determine a reasonable offer based on recent sales data in the area. You want to make an offer that’s high enough to stand out but not so high that you’re overpaying. A good rule of thumb is to start with an offer of 5-10% below the asking price.
4. Don’t be afraid to negotiate
In many cases, the seller is open to negotiation, especially if multiple offers are on the table. Be prepared to negotiate prices and terms and conditions such as repairs, closing costs, etc. These negotiations can be difficult, so having an experienced real estate agent by your side is a good idea. They can help you determine how much to offer and what terms to request.
Be respectful and understanding during negotiations. Remember, the seller may be attached to the home and may be reluctant to let go of certain items. In the end, both parties should be happy with the outcome of the negotiation. You may be able to get what you want if you’re willing to compromise.
5. Get a home inspection
Before finalizing the purchase of your home, it’s crucial to get a professional home inspection. This will help you identify any potential problems with the property before you buy it. The inspector will look for things like structural issues, water damage, mold, and pests.
If the home inspection reveals any problems, you can use this information to negotiate with the seller. For example, you may be able to get them to lower the price of the home or make repairs before you buy it. Ask your real estate agent for guidance on how to proceed.
Buying a home is a big decision, but with careful planning and research, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Following these tips will help ensure that you have a smooth and successful home-buying experience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from professionals, such as a real estate agent, along the way. They can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process. With their help, you’ll be able to find the perfect home for you and your family.