How should you buy a home if you are a first-time home buyer?

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First and foremost educate yourself. Use your state's local housing authority for free seminars in the steps of a home purchase and learning about financing is key. You need to have a good sense of your income and the amount of money you can afford for the costs of ownership: mortgage, insurance, taxes and repairs. Once you have the basic real estate knowledge, you can make better choices in choosing your mortgage lender as well as your real estate agent.

Choose a lender and get preapproved for an amount that they would lend you for a house. Many times you are approved for more of a loan than you can afford to pay monthly, so be cautious about your price range when you are looking. Being preapproved will make the offer and sale process go smoother than if you are trying to buy and apply for a loan at once. You may need several thousand dollars to pay for the application, prorated insurance and taxes, title insurance, termite inspection, home inspection as well as closing costs.

If you attend open houses, keep the preapproval and its amount to yourself. That realtor is not for you--they are the seller. If they know your top dollar, you may end up with less negotiating room.

Call a real estate agent. Remember that fees for his/her service are paid by the seller. If you are a first time buyer with no home, you pay the agent nothing. He/she splits the fee of the agent who is working with the seller of the home you will buy. A good agent can make appointments to see houses you have found as well as some that may not have hit the market yet. They are also good at navigating through all of the hoops if you choose a repo or short sale home. I have also heard that some agents are called "buyer's agents" meaning they have nothing to sell you; they only work with homebuyers so there is no conflict of interest with them trying to put you into a home where they represent the seller also.

When your title company calls and is ready for you to sign, make sure that you carefully read the form that shows all of the charges that you and the seller will pay. Check that items you have paid upfront and those that the seller should pay are correct. This document should come to you the day before signing. If it is incorrect, contact both the realtor and the title company.


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What books would you suggest for the first time home buyer or anyone who just wants to learn more about the home buying process?

Try this: "THE FIRST TIME HOMEBUYER BOOK" - written by a professional working agent and really informative! Maybe one or more of these interesting books might help make the

I am NOT for a first-time home buyer. Where can I safely no scams look for grants to help buy a home?

I would wait to see what the "Lame Duck Congress" does. The National Association Of Realtors has been working hard to come up with solutions to our economic crisis and one of

Who can be considered as a first time home buyer?

It i more likely that a first time home buyer is someone that has never bought a home before, either that means that you have never picked out the home or you have and someone

What should your credit score be for a first time home buyer?

"Should" is subjective. It depends on the type of loan you are attempting to get. FHA loans accept lower credit scores than traditional lenders. Traditional lenders have rate

Can you have owned a home and be a first time buyer?

In New Jersey, if you haven't owned a house in the last 3 years, you are considered a first time home buyer and are eligible for the First Time Home Buyer Program funded by th

After you buy a house are you automatically qualified for first time home buyers credit?

Even if you are a first time buyer (or have not purchased in the last 3 years), you are not automatically qualified for the first time buyer credit. There are certain criteri

When will i get my first time home buyers credit?

This will tell you what type of credit you're eligible for: http://thedailey.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/2009-homebuyer-tax-credit-changes.pdf and this will tell you how to f

Do you still get the first time home buyers credit if you buy a home in a different state?

Here's the link to the IRS website for details but I've also cut and pasted the info here for your use and review. Thank you:) http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=20467

Where should a first time home buyer go for advice?

Talk to friends and co-workers about realtors in your area and then talk to a few. Check your local library for books and articles on finding a Realtor. After your initial r