People looking to buy their first Richmond home in 2020 may feel nervous, excited, and scared all at the same time. They may be making their lists of wants and needs, figuring out how much they can afford to spend, and deciding which neighborhoods they want to search in. We’ve rounded up the 5 best tips for people buying their first Richmond home in 2020 to help give them a little guidance to get started.
EXPLORE FINANCING OPTIONS
There are almost as many different types of mortgages and down payments as there are houses. These days, buying a house doesn’t have to mean automatically putting down 20 percent of the home’s value and then paying a fixed-rate mortgage for 30 years.
For many homebuyers, conventional mortgages are still very attractive because they offer predictable terms and are available from a wide variety of lenders. You also have your choice of fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgages, as well as getting 30-year or even 15-year terms. Each choice has its own pros and cons, so be sure to take your time and thoroughly research.
While putting down as much as you can – without breaking the bank – is advisable for lowering your overall monthly payments, people can buy their first Richmond home with 10 percent, 3 percent, or even no down payment depending on the type of program they sign up for.
There are a wide variety of lending programs and grants out there, and a good mortgage broker can help buyers find the one that meets their needs.
HIRE AN AGENT
An experienced real estate agent knows the local market and knows what to expect in houses being sold around Richmond. They can be an invaluable resource for anyone looking to buy their first Richmond house.
The right real estate agent can take a list of likes and dislikes and scour through available listings to find potential properties to show homebuyers. They keep their fingers on the pulse of the housing market and are ready to leap the moment something good shows up. An agent also can help a buyer know when a home is priced too high, or when it’s a good deal, and can assist in negotiations.
SET A BUDGET
This is the biggest thing that people buying their first Richmond in 2020 home skip over. They may think they know how much they can afford, but they fail to take all factors into account.
The listing price is not exactly what will be paid every month, or the total cost of ownership. Making sure to factor in items such as taxes, any other fees, utility costs, as well as any potential upkeep gives a more realistic idea of whether or not a first-time homebuyer can afford a specific home.
BUY FOR TOMORROW
Many first-time homebuyers purchase homes for what they need today and fail to think about what they may need tomorrow. And, a few years and a couple of kids down the road, they’re suddenly house shopping again.
People buying their first Richmond home need to take their future plans into account when shopping, including potential marriage, kids, pets, and even job changes, all of which can affect whether they choose one home over another.
When buying a home, nearly everything is negotiable. Many first-time homebuyers think only the price is on the table, meaning they pass up the opportunity to get a lot more bells and whistles in the purchase.
Repairs, potential big replacements, appliances, and even home warranties all can be negotiated, and many sellers are more willing to throw in these items than they are to decrease the overall price.