5 Things To Consider When Choosing Your First Home

Which home is right for you? The ranch with the cute picket fence or the traditional Colonial with the impressive foyer? Looks do matter, but knowing what you can afford, considering all your options and even thinking a few years ahead are crucial components of the home-buying process. Here's what to consider as you shop for your first home:

1. Determine What You Can Spend

How much home can you afford? Falling in love with a home or property that you ultimately can't afford is more than a waste of time, it can be absolutely heartbreaking. A residential home mortgage calculator can help you determine a starting range for prices and give you a good idea of what you can afford. If you are truly ready, then speak with a mortgage lender to see if you can get pre-qualified. This step gives sellers confidence that you can complete the purchase and helps to let you know how much you may be able to spend on your new home.

2. Work With an Agent

Since you have never purchased a home before, a buyer's agent can work on your behalf, finding you homes to look at that are within your price range and helping you spot the strengths and weaknesses of each location. A buyer's agent works for you, not the seller, and can help you navigate the sometimes-tricky process of choosing your first home. iServe Residential Lending, LLC works with agents that understand the mortgage industry and can be a great resource.

3. Shop Around

You might fall in love with the first home you find, but it may still be a good idea to look at several homes in your price range for comparison purposes. Tour each home, drive through neighborhoods during the day, at night and on weekends to see what is going on after hours. That quiet, placid neighborhood might be crawling with traffic and abuzz with activity in the evening or on weekends, and it is best to find out before you buy.

4. Plan Ahead

You may not have kids now – or may only have one, but if your family grows, will the home you are considering still work for you? Thinking about not just your immediate needs, but what your situation and family could look like in the future can help you settle on the right home or property. The school district will matter whether you have kids or not, because the school you live near impacts the price and sometimes even the taxation of your home.

Even if you are retired or an empty nester, considering how you'll use the home in the future is important. Will you be able to use a two-story home in a few years? Some older folks can with no problems, while others may experience mobility issues. Have an aging parent? The home may need to accommodate guests or other residents eventually.

5. Talk with a Residential Lending Professional

If you've already found a home you love or even if you are just starting out, a residential mortgage loan officer can help you with your home financing needs and start the mortgage loan process. Some sellers need to close quickly, so if you can begin right away or even make an offer with a pre-approval [M1] in hand, you might be able to secure a better deal. Complete a residential mortgage application early in the process, and you'll be ready to move forward with the mortgage loan process when you find your home.

We can't help you find your dream home – but we may be able to help you buy it. Contact us to learn how easy it is to get an edge, even in a seller's market and to determine if you can afford the home you've fallen in love with. We specialize in serving first-time home buyers and are dedicated to helping you determine if you can afford the home of your dreams.