First Home Buying Tips

First-time experiences are learning experiences – and sometimes you have to learn the hard way. The same goes for home buying. Many potential homebuyers face problems while buying their first home, but with the help of a Raymond Kang real estate expert who knows the market, buying your first home can be less overwhelming.

If you are thinking of buying a home for the first time, here are some tips and guidelines you should follow:

Decide which type of home you want:

  • Determine the type, style, and location of the home you want (single-family detached, semi-detached, condominium, or townhouse).
  • Decide the number of bedrooms, the type of garage, and other home features you need.

Check your credit rating:

  • Plan a budget that is affordable for you to buy a home. Verify your finances, your credit score, and your credit history.
  • Make sure your creditors are aware that you have paid off balances or have cancelled credit cards if your financial records are not updated.
  • Decide how much you are willing to spend on a home.
  • Be sure to factor in other costs associated with buying a home, such as a home inspection, an earnest money deposit when making an offer to purchase, legal fees, property taxes, appraisal fees, land transfer and registry fees, and closing costs.

Pre-Approval on a mortgage:

  • Be aware that in addition to your mortgage, you will also have to pay for home mortgage insurance, home and property insurance, as well as utility costs such as water, heating (oil, natural gas), and electricity.
  • Understand the different types of mortgages and interest rates available to you as a home buyer.
  • Think about the amount of your down payment. A down payment of 5%-20% is required by most mortgage lenders, depending on the amount of the loan. When you put down 20% or more on a home, most mortgage lenders will not require you to purchase mortgage insurance.
  • Make sure you work with a reputable mortgage broker who will contact mortgage lenders on your behalf to find out what your best mortgage option might be. Find out whether you qualify for a variable or fixed interest rate mortgage.
  • Get a pre-approval for a mortgage. Then you will be able to look at home within your budget range and save time. Having a pre-approved mortgage is a good way to demonstrate to home sellers and realtors that you are a serious buyer.
  • If you are pre-approved for a mortgage, refrain from making big purchases such as financing a new vehicle as it may affect the amount you can borrow to finance your home purchase.

Hire a Professional real estate agent:

  • Buying a home with the help of a Raymond Kang real estate agent who will reduce stress, save you time, and advice you as to which home for sale on the market might be a good match for you and your budget.
  • Make sure that you ask Oahu real estate agents as many questions as you need to help you better understand the home buying process.
  • Take into consideration your lifestyle when searching for the perfect home to buy. Will your new home make your commute to work shorter or longer? Are grocery stores, shopping centers, and other amenities nearby? Is there a good school nearby if you have small children?
  • Ask Hawaii real-estate expert to provide you with a comparative market analysis that shows similar homes in the area with their selling prices and time on the market, when you find a home you are interested in buying. This will help you determine the amount to start with if you decide to make an offer on the property.

Home Inspection:

  • As a condition of the offer, the property must be inspected. Inspecting a home will identify any potential problems with the property, as well as future maintenance issues that need to be addressed. You may need to negotiate with the seller to see who will pay for the repairs needed, reduce your offer amount to account for the repairs needed, or retract your offer if you find issues with the property.

Home Appraisal:

  • Complete a home appraisal on the property. A professional appraiser can give you an estimate of a property’s market value. Mortgage lenders are usually willing to pay for part of the entire appraisal fee if you negotiate with them.
  • Complete a home appraisal on the property. You should obtain an up-to-date land survey of the property you intend to buy so that you know the boundaries and can avoid potential disputes with neighbouring property owners.

Real estate lawyer:

  • You should hire a real estate lawyer to review your Purchase and Sale agreement. A lawyer reviews the contract for errors and ensures its legality. Also, a real estate lawyer will conduct a title search on the property to make sure there are no liens or judgments against it. If you purchase the property, your lawyer will also file a deed transferring the title of the property to you from the previous owner.
  • You need to ensure that the property has been properly vacated and is in the condition it was in when you signed the purchase contract with the seller. Do this with your real estate agent on closing day.
  • After your closing day inspection, meet with your real estate lawyer to sign all legal documents finalizing the purchase of the home. Get the keys to your new home!
  • Prepare any needed repairs and complete them before you move into your new home.