Questions to Consider Before You Buy a House for the First Time

by Meg Burke 01/05/2020

The homebuying journey is exciting, particularly for an individual who is pursuing a residence for the first time. Ultimately, there are many questions that a buyer should consider before he or she searches for a house for the first time, and these include:

1. What is my "dream" home?

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the homebuying journey involves defining your dream residence. Because once you define your dream residence, you'll be able to narrow your house search and move closer to purchasing your first home.

Think about what you absolutely require in a new home. For example, if you want to own a house in a region where the weather is hot and humid year-round, you may require a central air conditioning system. Or, if you want to enjoy a fast, easy commute to work, you may want to pursue residences close to your office.

2. How much can I afford to spend on a house?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential. Because if you have a mortgage in hand when you begin your house search, you may be able to gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers.

To obtain a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages.

In addition, don't hesitate to get expert insights into assorted mortgage options. The longer you wait to get pre-approved for a mortgage, the longer you may need to wait to kick off your home search. Thus, you risk missing out on a potential dream house if you fail to get your home financing in order.

3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?

Hiring a real estate agent is a must, especially if you plan to embark on the homebuying journey for the first time. In fact, a real estate agent can help you quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer comprehensive assistance at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she first will meet with you, learn about your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying strategy. A real estate agent then will keep you up to date about houses that match your criteria and set up home showings. And when you find a home that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.

Let's not forget about the advice that a real estate agent will provide, either. A real estate agent is unafraid to be honest with you and will provide feedback throughout the homebuying journey. Also, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your first house – employ a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support as you move along the homebuying journey.

About the Author
Author

Meg Burke

 Meg & Loudoun County: Back in 1993, we moved here from Pennsylvania, thinking we'd stay for a year or two -- now it's been well over twenty five! In the past I was a broadcast advertising rep (Philly market) and at-home mom, until in 2000, when I jumped into the real estate business. Even with all the ups & downs, I've loved this business ever since! I've raised two wonderful children in Loudoun County Public Schools (www.lcps.org); one is a recent VA Tech graduate, and the other graduated from UVA. I've come to know Northern Virginia well and truly enjoy calling Loudoun County "home." Northern Virginia, and Loudoun County in particular, expanded dramatically in the mid 2000's; but along with the rest of our nation, experienced the challenging real estate market contraction of the "great recession." Luckily, our area has been back in a solid growth trend in recent years, so we are seeing fewer distressed properties and both resale and new construction homes are selling well. Let me assure you: Even as it grows, Loudoun County continues to be a wonderful place to live! Where else can you live less than an hour from concerts at the Kennedy Center or Capitol Center, Smithsonian Museums, the AND the Appalachian Trail? Loudoun County Notes: One of Loudoun's strengths is that we have a broad-based economy. We are not just a federal government dependant suburb. For example, did you know that over 70% of the world's Internet traffic flows through Loudoun County daily? (https://biz.loudoun.gov/) Ask me about the 45 mile-long Washington & Old Dominion Trail, which is great for jogging, walking the dogs or even an all-day bike trek. https://www.novaparks.com/parks/washington-and-old-dominion-railroad-regional-park Do you enjoy wines? Loudoun County is home to award-winning vineyards, with a reputation that is growing every year. www.visitloudoun.org/things-to-do/wine-country/ Serious shopper? Then you must visit the Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets! The antique shops in Leesburg, Purcellville & Middleburg are fantastic. You won't want to miss my personal favorite: the Waterford Fair in October -- an outdoor juried crafts fair in historic Waterford. www.waterfordfoundation.org History buff? Gardener? Perhaps you would prefer to stroll the grounds of Oatlands Plantation, a National Trust for Historic Preservation property; tour Morven Park or Dodana Manor in Leesburg. The farm and garden tours each year are always fascinating and enjoyable. Country Fairs are still going strong in Loudoun County. The Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival in Apri (another one of my personal favorites); the Bluemont Fair in September; Octoberfest in Lovettsville;... These are just a few of the events to enjoy throughout the year. Loudoun County and Leesburg, the county seat, are frequently included in "best of" lists (http:\/\/money.cnn.com\/magazines\/moneymag\/best-places\/2013\/snapshots\/PL5144984.html ) (https://smartasset.com/mortgage/happiest-places-in-america) There is so much to enjoy in Loudoun. Come see for yourself. I'd be happy to show you around! There are so many reasons to enjoy living here, but remember, the market is still quite fluid and challenging. Let me help you navigate your way through the interesting and sometimes overwhelming resales, short sales, foreclosures and new construction. I take my profession seriously; and although I do have my bachelor's degree (U. Penn, back in 1981), I am constantly upgrading my professional education in order to provide you with the most informed and up-to-date real estate support. Please remember: whether you or your friends are interested in buying or selling, MOVE WITH MEG! Let me help you make this a positive experience for you -- both for your family and your finances!