Photo by Adobe Stock / hedgehog94
First-time homebuyers can follow these helpful real estate tips when it’s time to scout out their perfect home on the Main Line.
So, you’re ready to buy your first home on the Main Line. Congratulations! This is a very big and exciting step, and you probably have a lot of questions. We’ve compiled a list of tips to prepare you for the home buying process.
1. Get the lay of the land.
Drive through communities you’re interested in, during the week and on weekends, to identify noise levels and potential traffic problems. After you’ve whittled down your list, walk around your targeted neighborhoods and take mental notes. Are folks friendly on the suburban cul-de-sac? Are homes and yards well maintained? What about the pool and fitness center at the condo complex? Are there kids the same age as your children?
2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Having a lender locked in gives you much more power as a buyer than simply being pre-qualified—especially if you want to move quickly on making an offer.
3. Protect your credit profile.
Avoid making major purchases that might ding your score for three to six months before buying a home.
4. Consider tapping the Bank of Mom and Dad.
Having a sizable down payment translates to lower monthly payments, and, in some cases, lower mortgage interest rates. Parents and grandparents who want to see their financial gifts in action while they’re still living are a growing factor in many families’ homebuying strategies.
5. Invest in a home inspection.
At the height of the sellers’ market, many would-be buyers waived inspections to remove an obstacle to having their bids accepted. In today’s more moderate real estate climate, home inspections are back on the table.
6. Budget for extra costs like HOA fees.
Factor in other expenses, including anticipated repairs and maintenance—and even incidentals like a week of takeout food while you’re getting settled in your new home.