I'm a firm believer in not wasting too many years of income on rent. It makes sense to begin the real estate investment as soon as possible for many reasons. A few of which include the equity gained and pride in home ownership. Here are seven basic steps to get you to home ownership in your twenties!
1. Find a Realtor
Interview Realtors until you are comfortable. Think about how long it takes until they call you back. If they don't return your call at the beginning, can you count on them when paperwork needs signing at closing? Work with someone who dedicates the time and energy to helping you find your first place.
I specialize in finding great Realtors across the country. Let me do the work for you (for free!) and put you in contact with a knowledgable agent. Just submit your email below and I will get in contact with you about the location you are looking to buy in.
2. Talk to a lender
A talk with any Realtor will show you that the first step in the home buying process is talking with a lender. When you contact me, I give you a list of great lenders to talk to. All it takes is a quick 10 minute conversation about your income and monthly debts to get you pre-qualified. Most Realtors can't or simply won't show you any properties until you have been pre-qualified. This is out of caution for you, we don't want you to fall in love with a house that has a mortgage you are not comfortable with.
3. Determine a budget
This may seem too similar to the previous point, but just because you were approved for $250,000 doesn't necessarily mean you would be comfortable with that mortgage payment. Talk with your lender about what the mortgage would look like month to month.
4. Have a time frame
When does your lease end? Be sure to give yourself enough time, of which can differ depending on the current market. Ask your Realtor about the typical time frame needed to close on a home so you can plan accordingly. Typically, its takes 3-5 weeks to close on a house once you are under contract.
5. House Hunt!
Once you are preapproved and are working with a great Realtor (let me help you find one!), go tour some homes! Spend some weekends touring open houses and new construction so you can tell your Realtor the characteristics you prefer in a house. Begin to narrow down your preferred location and ask your Realtor to send you listings in that area.
6. Find an ideal house in your budget (Have realistic expectations)
Note I didn't say "find your dream house!" This is your first home purchase and you will surely have to sacrifice on a few things. You love the area of town, so can you do without the mudroom or two car garage? You have the rest of your life to climb the real estate ladder. Make sure this first purchase meets your needs, covers a few of your wants, and most of all, is a sound investment.
7. Let the Realtor do the rest!
Just as you are the expert in your field, Realtors are the expert in theirs! Consider their recommendations when it comes to making an offer and let them fight for you during the negotiation process. They are there to make it as easy as possible, so let them help!
Buying or selling a home? If you are in the Charlotte, NC area, I'd love to help! If not, let me find you a great Realtor in your area (for free!). Just submit your email below and I will get in contact with you about the location you are looking to buy in.