06/25/24

4 things for first-time homebuyers to know right now

We try not to play favorites. After all, we love all our customers. However, if you ask any real estate professional, they will likely say they love working with first-time homebuyers. After all, there’s something special about helping someone land their first home. 

Despite all the challenges in the market, this group has been making a comeback, which is why we have another list of insights first-time buyers should know. Since we’ve covered it before, we left out any financial tips from this piece, but it’s certainly important to get your finances in order early on in the process. Everything from the importance of credit scores, pre-approval, the basics of a down payment and more are mentioned here.   

Now could be the perfect opportunity for this demographic. And we’re not saying that simply because June is National Homeownership Month. More inventory is coming to markets across the country, but many other homeowners are still waiting to list due to what’s known as “rate lock.” Basically, people who would normally want to move are delaying the change because their current interest rate is so much lower than what’s available now, and that could be a win for first-time buyers.

There are plenty of local experts who want to help you. Remember, the real estate market varies significantly by region, state and county. That’s why working with real estate professionals who know the community you want to live in is key. A knowledgeable buyer’s agent can guide your search of course, but they can also lead negotiations and connect you with other services you need. It’s also important to understand how many people beyond your helpful agent are here to help you. Yes, we’re talking about ourselves for your title and closing services, but there are also loan officers, inspectors, appraisers and more. 

The process will take time. Recent data shows that homebuyers of all kinds take an average of 10 weeks to find their next home. But this article – written by someone who went through the process recently, suggests that first-timers budget six months for their search. You may not need that long, but if you have that kind of time, take it. Why? You’ll want to discover what some of your must-haves are – trust us, that list may change as you start looking at homes and evaluating neighborhoods and other amenities. Plus, some homes that check all your boxes may attract more competition.   

Know that scammers frequently target real estate transactions. Wire fraud and other scams are a big deal in our industry for a simple reason – there are large chunks of money involved in every real estate transaction. Our teams – and many of our colleagues and friends – do a great job talking about this issue, so you can rest assured that we’ll do everything we can to protect our customers and partners. However, all of us need to be on guard, especially those who have never bought or sold property before. Remember, if something seems off, it probably is. You can always confirm information with us. Furthermore, know that it is highly unlikely your wiring instructions will change, and any communication suggesting that money should be sent somewhere else deserves a heavy dose of skepticism.   

If you’re ready to ramp up your home search this summer, congratulations! Fall is the perfect move-in season. Who you choose as your title company matters, and our teams would love to be your pick. Reach out to us anytime!

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