The Best Advice When Buying Your First Home

In your heart, you know you are ready to move into your own home. But, you are worried about whether you have enough money saved and if your credit is good enough. You have likely been told lots of different things from lots of well-intentioned friends and family members about your suitability for home ownership. Maybe, you even read 5 Common Mistakes Millennials Make When Buying Their First Home on Business Insider’s website. None of this advice has helped allay your concerns.

Drawing of house
Best advice when buying your first home

Do you feel like you can’t think about buying a house because any of the following applies to you?:

  • “I don’t have 20% saved for a down payment so I shouldn’t even bother looking for a house.”
  • “My credit score isn’t high enough to qualify for a mortgage.”
  • “Every three years, my company will probably transfer me to another location. It doesn’t make sense to buy a house.”

What to do? Get Expert Advice

Yep, that is it. That is the key to moving forward and taking the first step onto the property ladder: Get Expert Advice.

We did just that – on your behalf. We spoke with a Des Moines area Realtor and asked him what advice he offers to new homebuyers. Paul Walter works with RE/MAX Real Estate Group as a Broker Associate. He had some surprising things to share and offered some really helpful tips. After you read what Paul suggested, you may find that you are able to get into a house sooner than you thought!

You do not necessarily need 20% for a downpayment.

Paul told us that there are some programs where you can buy a house for less than 20 percent towards the downpayment. Depending on your circumstances and where you are looking to purchase, you may not need anything for a down payment! This is also where a good Realtor can help steer you towards finding a good fit with the next piece of advice.

You may qualify for a mortgage with your current credit score.

Speaking with a local lender face to face or over the phone can give you some of the best data you need to know about your credit and for what you qualify. The lender can look at different loans that best meet your needs. They will also be able to offer tips on repairing your credit if it isn’t quite where it needs to be.

Moving frequently = not sure buying is a good idea.

If this is your scenario, you will want to speak with a Realtor to see if renting or buying is the best option. Maybe renting makes the most sense if you are likely to move every year or two. Longer than that, it may make more sense to buy. A real estate professional can help you sort this out. They can also help you with a wish list when looking for your first house. Narrowing down your needs versus wants is important when you are ready to look for an affordable option.

Bonus advice from Paul:

Once you have decided that now is the right time to buy and you have found a home that you want to buy, “Get inspections!” Not only will you want a home inspection, you may need a sewer or septic inspection. Paul also mentioned that sometimes it is a good idea to get other types of inspections, as well. These can include radon, mold, etc. Your Realtor will help guide you through this process. Their expertise can help make the home-buying process a little less stressful.

Additional advice relating to property ownership

It is always a good idea to make sure you have enough information to make good decisions. If you have any questions about the insurance process for insuring your new home, please visit our FAQ’s page or give us a call.