Attention First-Time Homebuyers: What’s important to do right now?

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Ann Willis

By ANN WILLIS, RE/MAX Key Properties Broker, ABR SRS AHWD

If you are a first-time homebuyer, now is a great time to be preparing, planning, and learning about the best ways to enter our market. With more homes available to purchase and a slowing in price acceleration, buyers who have felt squeezed the last two years may want to revisit their options.

If you’re thinking about your first home purchase, what can you do to prepare? Here are five important steps you can take right now to help you secure your dream of home ownership.

  1. Get clear on why you are buying. Are you wanting an investment? Do want the freedom that comes with being a homeowner? Have you always wanted to buy your grandma’s house? Once you are clear on why you are doing it, you know what you can absolutely need to have, and what you can “bend” on to get you to your goal.
  2. Know where your money is coming from. Are you using cash, a partner, perhaps an inheritance or loan? This will be important so you can make sure you have not tapped a potential resource and your lender can find the best loan program for you.
  3. Talk to a lender. You don’t know what you don’t know. Even if you are worried about a lender’s decision, it’s important to start the process. And it will be a relief to know where you stand. If you don’t know what lender to talk to, ask your real estate agent. We have relationships with lots of lenders and are happy to help find good fits for our clients.
  4. Do your homework and set yourself up for success. Know where your taxes are, how to get your bank statements, and what you would be comfortable paying each month. These are all things your lender will want right away.
  5. Look for a real estate agent. If you ask around, most people are happy to recommend an agent, but it’s important to remember that not everyone is a good fit for you as a first-time buyer. Look at the agent’s reviews online, look for someone who has the traits important to you. Are they knowledgeable? Do they understand your situation? Will they pass you off to a team member, or will you be working directly with that agent? Are they a fit for you?

Most importantly, know your budget and be ready to stick to it. While your first home might not be your dream home, you will have your foot in the door and be able to build towards that dream property. It might take some time, but your dream of home ownership can be achieved. With the right real estate partner and a lender that fits your needs, you can take the leap and begin building equity and a bright future in Central Oregon.