It’s an exciting time when you start looking for your first home. Maybe you know what areas you like or the type of home you would prefer, maybe even your budget, but no matter your knowledge base, the task can be daunting. A lot of first time home buyers are uncertain how to start looking or who they can trust in the process. I offer a few suggestions below that may aid in the process.

Write It Down Write down what you are looking for in a property and what you would like to avoid. If you are buying with another person make your own lists and compare and contrast your needs.

Searches These days most home searches start on the internet where first time home buyers can go through many listings, virtual tours and photo albums. Look at maps and decide which areas you would consider and or avoid. Once you start looking at homes you can cross off areas you find don’t meet your needs. Drive around the areas you think you may want to live and commute from.

Finances If you’re uncertain about the lending process and what you can afford, go talk to an expert. Most banks have loan officers who will sit down with you and talk about your finances free of charge. This is the time to ask questions and determine what monthly mortgage you would be comfortable paying. The loan officer can also show you different loan programs that you qualify for with the best interest rate. Shop around for the best rate and loan options just know when you get serious about a home you must have a lender lined up. A lender will be writing your pre approval letter which you will submit with any offer on a property. If you have an agent you can also ask them if they recommend anyone as well.

Realtors Referrals, referrals, referrals! If you’re on the search for a Realtor ask your friends, coworkers and family members for referrals. Chances are if they were happy with their Realtor you might be too. If you’re not from the area and can’t obtain a referral from someone who lives in the area go on the internet. Make sure you look at their websites, blogs and or social media pages to determine how well they know the area. Once you pick a Realtor, make your needs known and be honest if you don’t care for certain properties.

If you find this small bit of information helpful I would love to help you find your first home!