Buying a home for the first can be an exciting and worrisome time.  You are thrilled by the idea that you will be a homeowner and not be at the mercy of your landlord’s rules and restrictions.  In addition, you need no one’s permission to paint or redecorate your home the way you want it.  You may be concerned about the financing process, your credit scores, maintenance of the new home, and the other costs you assume as a homeowner, such as Real Property Taxes.  You are aware that the buying process alone involves finding the right home in the right neighborhood, finding homeowners insurance that will actually protect you from a major loss, the appraisal process, the inspection and deciding what to ask the seller to fix, all of the legal paperwork, and what to worry about when it becomes your home.

All of these are manageable.  The first thing to do is to select your Realtor or, you can choose to do it your self using the For Sale By Owner web sites to search for a property. There could be legal issues that are not known or disclosed looking only at For Sale By Owner homes.  A Realtor can guide you through the process including all of the paperwork, identifying the best vendors and resources in the area.  He/she has a legal and moral obligation to represent you by giving you all of the information she/he has.

In addition, your Realtor can help you with the finances.  Make sure to ask her/him for an estimate of the costs you will incur so you will know the true total cost of buying the home.  Don’t forget to consider all of your expenses when deciding how much you can spend on a house. 

If you are part of a couple, be sure to discuss what is most important for each of you.  Make sure you are on the same page when you begin the search.  Looking through home listings gives you a good opportunity to identify your differences and to identify where you are already in agreement.

Don’t get emotional about a home.  You may make an offer on a home and get out bid or the owner could take it off the market.  If those happen to you, don’t get emotional and get in a hurry and rush to close.  Talk to the neighbors after you have toured the home and get as much information as you can.

The good news is, your Realtor can help you with all of the above.  He/she can provide you with the ownership and tax evaluation history of the home.  If you need or want some work done on the property right away, the Realtor can recommend the best vendors and resources in the area.