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First-time homebuyers

Many potential first-time home buyers feel overwhelmed and think homeownership is an impossible dream.  Well, it's not!  This website will help you gain knowledge about the home buying process and will hopefully give you the courage to keep that dream alive.  The first bit of advice I will give you is to hire a buyer's agent (me or another realtor) who will look out for your best interests and make sure you are not making mistakes than can cost you several thousands of dollars.  This is the biggest financial decision you will ever make, so it's essential that you work with a professional, trustworthy realtor who's there for you every step of the way. I'm a 43-year old Denver native and seventh-generation Coloradan, so rest assured, I'm not going anywhere!

Our website sponsor - Anthony Rael is here to make sure:
   1.  you fully understand what it takes to purchase a home
   2.  you work with a reputable mortgage lender who won't take advantage of you
   3.  you are utilizing every available first-time buyer resource you're entitled to
   4.  write an purchase offer that protects you before & after the sale
   5.  that all of your questions are answered in a timely, professional manner
   6.  you don't get overwhelmed with the process - I'm here for you!

 

Do you realize that the seller pays the commission to the agent who brings a buyer for their home?  That's right, it doesn't cost you anything to be represented by a Buyer's Agent who is advocating and negotiating on YOUR BEHALF!  Being familiar with the different ways a real estate agent can represent you, plus all the different financing options and programs available to assist you and knowing the ins and outs of where to find a good deal which can save you thousands of dollars!  There is no reason why you shouldn't have a Realtor on your side when buying your first home!

Valuable Housing Assistance Programs

 

Steps for First-time homebuyers

Preliminary Footwork
Author and real estate broker Jim Stacey claims that there are three stages for the first-time home buyer: contemplation, comparison, and commitment.  He urges prospective buyers to get through the first stage on their own, with the help of friends and family members.  The road between contemplation and being ready to commit to buying a house is arduous and emotional, and Stacey has learned that the best use of a broker's time and skills is to enter the fray after buyers have done some preliminary footwork.

Part of this background work is figuring out whether you're ready to be a homeowner - financially, psychologically, and emotionally?  First, make sure your credit record will appeal to a lender.  If you have doubts, get a copy of your credit report in advance (my lenders provide this FREE of charge). If your credit history is less than shiny, you're probably better off renting while you buy down your debts and polish up your record.

STEP 1.
Figuring Out What You Want
No matter how well you can picture your dream house and communicate your ideal to me, the house you finally fall in love with may have little resemblance to the image you started out with.  But you have to begin somewhere, and a detailed wish list is a great head start.  Let's say your wish list looks like this, in order of priority:

  • Two bedrooms, two baths

  • Safe, quiet neighborhood

  • Garden

  • Ability to add on

  • No major repairs needed

  • Near close friends or family members

  • Close to downtown

  • Craftsman-style detached home

  • Lots of natural daylight

  • Parking

  • Good investment with excellent resale potential

  • Affordable property taxes

  • Enclosed laundry area

  • Walk-in closet in master bedroom

  • Storage space for lawn/garden and sports equipment

  • Gas hookup for stove

  • Back deck or patio

  • Close to work, schools, church, shopping

  • Finished basement for office or guest room

  • No threat of commercial encroachment

  • Hardwood floors

  • French doors leading to backyard

  • Close to public transportation

Now, how would the list change if you had to settle for only 10 of your wishes in your price range?  If you had to narrow it to five, would your top priorities be different?  When you start looking at houses, this information will be invaluable to a Realtor as he or she matches your requirements to available houses.

STEP 2.
What Can You Afford?
Every market is different, but the first step to answering this question is finding out what you can pay on a monthly basis after you've made your down payment...5, 10, or 20 percent of the asking price of the house.

Visit a loan officer. The best way to learn what you can afford is to get pre-qualified for a loan. We have excellent resources to lenders who will ensure that you get the best loan rates and terms.  Pre-qualifying won't cost you anything.  You'll walk away with a good idea of how your income, assets, and liabilities translate into what you can afford, and it can also help your chances of beating out the competition in a sellers market (where there are more buyers than houses on the market).

Do the math.  You can also do a simple calculation on your own. Broker wisdom says that monthly payments should be 25 to 33 percent of your monthly gross income. Use the simple loan calculator to get a rough idea.

Additional costs.  Keep in mind that in addition to the purchase price you'll need extra cash for closing costs, inspection, and future expenses.  All in all, to get through closing - meaning, once you've signed the last remaining paper after agreeing on price and terms with the seller - the cost will typically be 2 to 7 percent more than the agreed-upon selling price. If you calculate that from the middle zone, at 4.5 percent, a $200,000 house will cost $209,000 to purchase. Be sure to consider annual property taxes and repairs (predictable and unexpected).

Take heart in knowing that most first-time buyers are simply getting into the market.  Your dream house may be two or three houses into the future, so don't feel like you have to spend every penny you can afford if it means trading off some cherished freedom.

STEP 3.
Starting the House Hunt
Now that you have an idea of what you can afford, you can focus on whether you're in the market for a condominium, loft,  townhouse, single-family detached home.  Contact our website Realtor sponsor Anthony Rael and he will help educate you about what to look for and avoid, provide reliable references for other experts you'll need along the line - such as lenders and inspectors - and represent you in negotiations and at closing.

Now you're ready for the fun stuff: pounding the pavement.  Go to as many open houses as you can stand, even at times when I'm not available, and then go to another - (just be sure to sign in under my name).  In the neighborhoods you're considering, include some homes you know you can't afford and some priced below your means.  Think of it as leveling out your learning curve.

Talk to friends and family about their buying experiences.  People are often surprisingly open about what they've learned about financing, construction - and even themselves - in the course of buying their first house.

And finally, if there are times when you just can't bear to see another overpriced house with kelly-green shag carpet, take a day off - and remind yourself that someday you'll know it was all worthwhile.  Enjoy the article on "Nine Steps to Buying Real Estate & Homes in Denver Colorado" or take a look at my Colorado Community Resource Directory featuring links to schools, city government agencies, shopping, dining, entertainment and more!


If you have any questions regarding the purchase of your first new home,
contact our website Realtor sponsor - Anthony Rael at call me at 303.520.3179

 


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