10 Tips for 1st Time HomeBuyers


1 – Get Organized

Lenders, insurance agents, title companies, and real estate professionals need documentation from you at a moment’s notice.  Everything from paystubs, bank statements and tax returns to identification, birth certificates and marriage licenses.


2 – Get Educated

Complete the homebuyer education class early.  The time investment is worth it. The class is customized to address the questions and concerns of every student.  There are a variety of days and times and both in-person and on-line options.


3 – Be Open and Honest

Full disclosure leads to a plan to resolve challenges and avoids surprises at the end of the deal.  No one enjoys being thrown a curve ball at the last minute.  The real story is reflected in the documentation and if it can’t be documented it doesn’t exist.


4 – Stay “As You Were”

Every buyer should first know if you qualify as a borrower.  Once pre-approved, remain in the same general condition with finances, employment, credit standing, amount of savings, etc.  This is not the time to become creative.


5 – Have a Spending Plan

Understanding where they are financially will help buyers make the successful transition to homeownership.  Spending plans involve intentional spending that includes savings, planning for the future and helps accomplishes financial goals.


6 – Save, Save, Save

Although there are programs that can help with down payment and closing costs, savings is important for the expenses that will come up.  The ability to save is the greatest predictor of future financial success.   Living within your means AND buying within your means are equally important.


7 – Be Timely

Be prepared to respond quickly when asked for documentation.  Often time is of the essence.  Anticipate what will be needed so that you are not left scrambling to complete tasks or submit documents at the last minute.


8 – Be Patient

We want it all immediately, but home purchases are the largest purchase most families will make.  It takes time, but it is worth the wait.  Set reasonable expectations and there will be much less disappointment in all aspects of the transaction.


9 – Don’t Give Up

There are as many programs for homebuyers as there are styles of houses to buy.  If one doesn’t fit today, work with a financial coach to become “mortgage ready.”  Many first-time homebuyers are surprised that they actually qualify for a loan from a reputable lender.


10 – Consider Post-Purchase Education

Once closing is completed, make sure the honeymoon isn’t over.  First-time homebuyers are often overwhelmed by the ongoing financial requirements and by the responsibilities of home maintenance.