Buying a house is an exciting milestone in many people’s lives. Sometimes, it accompanies significant life events such as weddings or job changes. Most of the time, buying a house results from years of saving and preparation, as homebuyers contend with limited inventory and declining housing affordability, among other economic challenges. Despite these headwinds, the number of first-time homebuyers increased to 32% of all homebuyers in 2023, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
My clients Alexia and Christian knew the time had come to put down roots in Austin, a city they made their home after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin. They educated themselves on everything about the homebuying process, from mortgages to interest rates, in the hopes of finding a home that was practical but also matched their preferences. Christian and Alexia had been searching for a new home for eight months until his colleague, who had completed multiple transactions with me, introduced us.
The couple, who also have a cat and a dog, wanted a spacious house that would allow them to work from home comfortably and a large backyard to host family gatherings. From there, we narrowed their search to three properties, and they closed on their first home within two months.
They chose house #2, a beautiful home in Austin’s Onion Creek community. This peaceful community in Southeast Austin is perfect for young families. Located just 10 miles from downtown and near McKinney Falls State Park, there are many activities for residents to enjoy. The Munozes love their new home and are excited to begin renovation projects soon to personalize the space.
Buying your first home requires careful planning and the guidance of a realtor with extensive local knowledge to ensure the process goes smoothly. If you want to purchase your first home, these steps can set you on the path to a successful purchase.
Buying a house is a significant purchase that one should not take lightly. Before searching for properties, calculate how much you will need for a home purchase and start saving as early as possible. Consider the down payment, closing costs, moving expenses, and any immediate repairs in the total cost of a home purchase.
There are many mortgage options, including conventional mortgages, FHA loans, and VA loans, all with different requirements. Look into the various loan types to see which one you might be eligible for. Federal, state, and local homebuyer programs also offer first-time homebuyers downpayment assistance and tax credits, among other benefits.
Another critical step before you start house hunting is to obtain mortgage preapproval. While a prequalification letter estimates the loan amount you can get, a mortgage approval letter from a lender shows home sellers and realtors exactly how much loan money you can get and how much you can afford to pay. The preapproval amount is based on financial information such as W-2s, bank statements, and credit scores.
Determine the ideal type of property you are looking for and the neighborhoods that match your lifestyle. Then, list all the features you want and need in your ideal property. This is a helpful step that will enable you and your realtor to focus on the properties that fit your budget and preferences.
Working with an experienced realtor can help you navigate the homebuying process and represent your interests every step of the way. In addition to helping you find properties in your price range that align with your preferences, these knowledgeable professionals can also help you avoid potential pitfalls, provide guidance when making an offer, negotiate on your behalf for the best deal, and ensure that everything is in order with the sale at closing.
Buying your first property is a huge step that allows you to put down roots in a community, create long-term stability, and lay the foundations for building generational wealth. If you’re ready to take the first steps toward homeownership, let’s talk about your goals today!