Stock image of a couple holding a sign that reads "our first home"

Ready to Buy? Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

By Julie Tibke, Mortgage Loan Officer

Buying a house can seem a little overwhelming for first-time buyers - especially when houses are selling quickly at increasing prices. For those ready to make the move to home ownership, here are a few things to consider.

  • Know your budget
    First and foremost, know how much you have to work with. Before you get emotionally attached to a house, check your monthly budget to determine how much house you can afford. Make sure you calculate regular expenses of home ownership, both monthly expenses and annual expenses when figuring out your budget.
  • Stay within budget
    It can be easy to lose sight of the big picture as the house hunting begins. When you are spending thousands of dollars, a few thousand more may not seem like it will make a difference. Remember that buying a house is a decision that can affect your future financial goals. Don’t buy more house than you can afford.
  • Get pre-approval from a lender
    Always get pre-approved before you start house hunting. Know how much your monthly payment will be and what price range you need to stay within to remain in budget. Your lender should also provide down payment options and a breakdown of closing costs. Knowing this information upfront will help eliminate surprises along the way. Keep in mind, the amount you are pre-approved for may not be what you are comfortable spending in your monthly budget.
  • Hire a realtor
    Find a real estate agent who knows the local market. Based on your pre-approval amount, your agent will work with you to find houses that fit your budget and your needs. Let the realtor do the work for you. A good agent will work hard to find you the right home and negotiate the right price for you.
  • Get a home inspection
    No matter how much you love the house, or how new it is, always get it inspected to avoid future headaches. A licensed home inspector will look at the house and provide a detailed report of any immediate repairs. They will also point out potential issues that might arise in the future. Having this information will allow for defects to be repaired before they result in serious consequences or costly damage.

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you will make. Following these few tips can make the first-time home buying experience less stressful and more enjoyable. With a little planning, you will have the keys to your new home in no time. Visit your Great Western Bank mortgage loan officer today to get started.

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