First Time Home Buyers
Page 13
The Real Deal: Am I Ready to Buy a House?
If you’ve had enough of your roommate eating your leftover take-out, your absentee landlord hiking the rent year after year even though the heat barely works, or your mom asking what time you — a full-grown adult the last time you checked — will be home, you might be dreaming about buying your own place, and doing it sooner rather than later. But how do you know if you’re ready to buy a home, and whether it’s a good idea? There are various rent vs.
Sep 25, 2017
Next-Level Tips for Serious Buyers to Get the Most Out of Open Houses
Open houses are kind of fun, aren’t they? There’s something interesting about walking through a home and trying to picture yourself living there. However, when you’re serious about getting into the real estate market, it’s time to take this experience to the next level. Here are our tips for buyers on getting the most out of open houses. Keep these in mind the next time you’re in the mood to take a tour and you’ll be an open house pro before you know it.
Sep 22, 2017
What Real (Not-Rich) Buyers Can Do to Compete in All-Cash Markets
More than ever, we hear about homes being snatched up by “all cash” offers, and it’s natural to wonder how you’re ever going to compete without your own briefcase full of dollars. But you should know that your goal of homeownership isn’t impossible. If you want to battle with those all-cash buyers who seem to be taking over the market, you’re going to need to find a smart edge.
Sep 21, 2017
Thinking About Buying a Short Sale? Read This First
Many buyers, especially first-timers, are enthralled by the prospect of buying a short sale — and it’s not hard to see why. Bottom basement sale prices make these transactions seem like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, most of the time, these too-good-to-be-true deals also come with a huge catch. Before you commit to buying a short sale, read this first. We’ve outlined a few red flags that you should be aware of prior to taking the plunge.
Sep 15, 2017
How To Find a First Home That’ll Actually Make Money When You Sell
For most of us, buying a first home is a pretty big deal. We’re all indoctrinated from a young age with the more romantic aspects of becoming homeowners, making it hard to imagine when we purchase that first abode that we’ll ever live anywhere else. But think of it this way: Wouldn’t it be nice to know that when it does come time to sell your beloved first home, you’ll be walking away with a nice chunk of change to put toward your next dream house?
Sep 12, 2017
The Things No One Tells You About Selling Your House
Buying a home is a momentous time in one’s life and, accordingly, congratulatory pats on the back abound — as does unsolicited advice. Everyone has insight about everything from how to pick the perfect house for you to saving money on home repairs. However, there’s not nearly as much fanfare when it comes time to sell your house.
Sep 5, 2017
Fierce Negotiating Tactics for a First-Time Buyer
Just because it’s your first time buying a home doesn’t have to mean you go into negotiations completely clueless. While the whole process may be new to you, there’s actually some benefits to having it be your first time around. Here’s some tactics for negotiating your first home purchase: It’s always a good idea to go with a buying agent that knows their territory. You know how it feels like everyone who went to summer camp knows each other?
Aug 28, 2017
Renting Versus Buying: Are You Ready?
Buying a home is a big decision and there are many factors to consider when thinking of leaving the familiar world of rentals for the housing market. How do you know when it’s the right time to take the leap? Luckily, there are a few things that set soon-to-be homeowners apart from those who might be better off renewing their lease. Keep these questions in mind and use them to weigh your options the next time your lease is up. They may help put your mind at ease.
Aug 25, 2017
The Cities with the Highest Hidden Costs of Owning a Home
If you’re looking into buying a home, your mind is probably focused on things like your down payment and monthly mortgage costs, but those aren’t the only costs that come with owning a home—there are hidden costs you might not be thinking about, too.
Aug 14, 2017
The City With the Best Market for First-Time Homebuyers
If you’re looking to buy your first home, it may surprise you to learn where you’ll find the best market—research shows that you’ll probably have the best luck in Orlando, Florida. According to a recent Zillow report, Orlando tops the list—followed by Tampa, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, and San Antonio. San Francisco, perhaps unsurprisingly, was found to have the worst market in comparison, followed by San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and Portland, Oregon.
Aug 12, 2017
Is That Open House Worth It? How To Decode Listings Like a Pro
One of the first steps to house hunting is sifting through a pile of listings and finding which ones are worth your time, in terms of going to take a look. Your real estate agent will likely set you up on a search tailored to properties that will meet your needs. But let’s be honest, not all listings are created equal. You’ll have to use your best judgment to find the ones that work best for you.
Aug 10, 2017
A Realists’ Guide to Buying a NYC One-Bedroom
Real estate prices in New York City—especially in Manhattan—cover a nearly unbelievably huge range from the affordable (somewhat affordable; it is New York, after all) to the totally extravagant. A one-bedroom apartment, for example, could sell for anywhere from less than $200,000 to several million—it all depends on the location and how much space they have to offer.
Aug 8, 2017
The “Hidden” Costs of Homeownership Add Up to $9K a Year
You found the perfect home for sale, and even better, the monthly mortgage payment works out to almost exactly to what you’re paying in rent right now. Great! Now, simply add another $750 a month on top of that, and you’re golden! Wait, what? Yup, the “hidden” costs of homeownership tally up to $9,080 a year on average, according to a new report by Zillow and Thumbtack.
Aug 7, 2017
The Second Most Important Homebuying Decision You’ll Make: Tips for Finding the Best Agent for You
The wrong real estate agent—or just one who doesn’t jibe with your vibe—can cast a shadow on your whole home buying experience. That’s why it pays to know what things to look for (and the right kinds of questions to ask) when searching for a reliable real estate agent. So to help make your search a little easier, we called on William E Brown, President of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), for advice on how to find the best agent for your unique homebuying needs.
Aug 6, 2017
The Questions You Need to Answer Before Buying a Home Together
Buying a home together can be complicated. Whether you’re in a relationship, family members, or good friends who are making an investment together, sometimes adding multiple opinions and emotions into a financial situation can get a little dicey. That’s why it’s really important plan out your homeownership logistics before you even get started. If you’re thinking of buying a house with someone else, this post is for you.
Jul 31, 2017
Find Your Focus: The 3 Things That Really Matter When Buying A First Home
There’s no denying that buying your first home is a very exciting thing. It’s so easy to get caught up in the fantasy of finding your dream home that it can sometimes be hard to focus on what you really need. While cool ceiling beams and a spacious yard matter, they shouldn’t be your top considerations.
Jul 24, 2017
Why First-Time Homebuyers Should Think Twice Before Applying For A Mortgage Online
Online mortgage programs are becoming increasingly popular — and it’s not hard to see why. With an application process that takes less than five minutes, they can almost be thought of as an “express lane” for a loan. But while some prospective buyers, particularly those who have been through the process before, may appreciate their speed and ease, those same features can feel overwhelming to first-time buyers.
Jul 22, 2017
In-Reach Real Estate: Affordable Cities Outdoorsy People Will Love
You can read a million lists about buying a home—and I could prattle on for days about the process myself—but the best advice anyone can probably offer is this: buy a home in a city that you love even more than the house itself. Never does this ring more true than when it comes to outdoorsy people.
Jul 20, 2017
House Hunting Dealbreakers: The 3 Things to Never Compromise On
You’ve heard it before: “No house is going to be perfect. Even your dream home will have a few compromises.” That’s true. When you’re house hunting, it’s important to keep an open mind rather than getting stuck in one vision of what you’re perfect home will look like. However, there are a few instances where it’s okay to put your foot down.
Jul 19, 2017
The Magic Formula that Can Turn Anyone Into a Homeowner
Buyers want to know if there's a magic formula to follow to make them ready for a mortgage. Luckily, as it turns out, there is.
Jul 18, 2017
3 Things Every Self-Employed, Aspiring Homebuyer Needs to Do
Buying a home when you’re self-employed is notoriously tricky. After all, an up-and-down income cycle is—understandably—less appealing to mortgage companies than a dependable paycheck. That said, it’s far from impossible. Freelancers and small business owners alike can absolutely be approved to buy the home of their dreams. It just takes a little extra prep work. If you’re thinking about entering the real estate market while still being your own boss, listen up.
Jul 14, 2017
Take it From Me: What First-Time Buyers Should Know About Fixer Uppers
When you’re a first-time home buyer growing dizzier by the minute walking through dreamy homes outside of your budget, it’s only natural to consider adding a home that needs a little “TLC” to your short list. Know this, though: fixer uppers come with some special considerations, especially for first-time homebuyers. Two years ago when my husband and I decided to take the plunge and buy our first home, we settled on a fixer upper.
Jul 5, 2017
Do You Know Difference Between a Hard Loft and a Soft Loft?
In our search for the ideal abode, our realtor asked a seemingly simple yet perplexing question: "Are you interested in a hard loft or a soft loft?"
Jun 30, 2017
Time it Right: Here’s What the Transition from Renting to Owning a Home Looks Like (and Costs)
There is so much that’s confusing about the home buying process as a first-timer, and all I can really do (beyond writing articles like this one) is absolutely promise that an attentive real estate agent and a knowledgeable mortgage broker will be your lifelines. You’ll be surprised how much you learn about earnest payments, escrow and amortization in that month or so it takes to close. Definitely more than you paid attention to in college accounting, I’ll tell you that much.
Jun 28, 2017
Forget Avocado Toast: Here’s How Long It Takes Millennials to Save for a Down Payment
Contrary to what some might believe, avocado toast isn’t what’s keeping Millennials from buying houses—rather, a shortage of affordable homes is stopping prospective homebuyers from their purchasing dreams, no doubt combined with things like student debt (according to Forbes, more than 44 million people face a total of $1.3 trillion of student debt, more than any other kind of debt, outside of mortgages).
Jun 28, 2017
Where to Get the Best Bang for Your Real Estate Bucks in America Right Now
You might think we’ve become slightly obsessed with the affordability of living in America right now — and you would be right. When the top three most expensive cities in the world for renters are all in the U.S., well… Houston, we have a problem (because even Houston has its pricey listings).
Jun 22, 2017
Homebuyer Beware: Misleading Real Estate Photography Tricks
An online listing for a house is a lot like an online dating profile. You wouldn’t ever lie — better to set honest expectations — but you sure as hell are going to make your situation look as good as possible. That means flattering angles, ruthless editing and, yep, maybe a little Photoshop. If you’re browsing home listings to find your dream home, here are a few things to be wary of when it comes to real estate photography.
Jun 21, 2017
Real Estate Experts On: Why Are Buyers So Freaked Out By Paint Colors?
It’s an old real estate trope, but it seems to be true: Paint color can heavily sway a prospective buyer’s opinion of a home. While a seller might think throwing a fresh coat of paint on the walls will boost the value of their property, in reality, doing so might actually leave a bad impression on buyers; depending on their individual tastes and styles.
Jun 20, 2017
How Much First-Time Homebuyers are Spending on Renovations
While Baby Boomers and older generations—perhaps unsurprisingly—still spend the most on renovations in comparison to younger people, a recent study from Houzz found that Millennials and first-time buyers are spending more on renovations than they ever have before. According to the study, renovators who bought their first homes last year spent an average of $33,800, which is actually 22 percent more than they spent the year before in 2015.
Jun 14, 2017
Study Reveals The #1 Reason Millennials Want to Pack Up and Move
Think about the last time you moved into a new place—why did you leave? If it was because you needed a change of scenery, you’re not alone. A recent survey found that 46 percent of millennials move because they’re tired of their current home. In fact, it’s the biggest reason most people (35 percent of home shoppers surveyed overall) move, period. The only age groups whose reasons for moving didn’t match up with the majority?
Jun 12, 2017
Lessons from My First Year of Homeownership (That I Wished I’d Known Sooner)
Looking forward to a future as a homeowner feels a bit like looking in a cloudy mirror. You can see yourself there, but everything else (like the how, when and why) just seems a bit fuzzy. But I’m here to tell you from the other side of the looking glass: You can do it! It’s been one year since my husband and I closed on our little slice of heaven (heaven, in this case, is a former pickle factory), and I’m here with lessons learned from the other side.
Jun 4, 2017
What First-Time Buyers Should Know About Big-City Real Estate
A (sort-of-serious) theory: The ease with which you can get around your city without a car is inversely proportional to how easy it will be to get your hands on real estate. When you live in a massive metropolis with a few million other people, trains can be easy to come by, but affordable starter homes are not. But if you know that homeownership is something you want for yourself—and you’re not willing to move out of the city to do it—all hope isn’t lost.
May 28, 2017
Ready to Repair Your Iffy Credit? Here’s Where to Begin.
Real talk first: Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix. Repairing your credit is a long road, and it can certainly be stressful—especially if you’ve got a big goal on the horizon like buying your first home. It takes a while—about 7 to 10 years—for credit-affecting issues (like late or missed payments) to come off your credit report, so repairing bad credit might seem downright impossible at times.
May 23, 2017
Here’s What $300,000 Buys You In Manhattan
Finding an affordable rental anywhere in New York City is a struggle, so it may feel like buying a home in the Big Apple for less than a fortune is near-impossible, if not completely. The truth is, you can find apartments in the city that are more on the affordable side, you just have to do a bit of searching to find them. These apartments are all $300,000 (or just below in price) and give you a taste of what’s out there and what buying in New York City is really like.
May 19, 2017
New Orleans Shotguns for Sale: 5 Affordable & Charming Homes
You might rent an apartment in a big city and you love it, but that doesn’t bar you from imagining yourself in all sorts of alternate timelines. Maybe there’s one where you’re living abroad, one where you’re living in a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere, one living on a your own private island — big and small, you’ve entertained thoughts about all of them.
May 8, 2017
Study: Millennials’ Home-Buying Habits Are Surprisingly Similar to Their Grandparents
Older generations always seem to think millennials are doing it all wrong, but the truth is, millennials aren’t all that different from their grandparents—especially when it comes to buying their first homes.
May 4, 2017
Study Reveals The Best (and Worst) States for First-Time Homebuyers
If you’re looking to buy your first home in Iowa, you’re in luck—according to a new study from Bankrate, it’s the easiest state for first-time homebuyers, followed closely by Utah and Minnesota. The toughest states? California, with a score of 13.67 (out of 50, and as compared to Iowa’s 40.32), followed by Hawaii and New York.
May 1, 2017
Study Says: These Are Millennials’ Biggest Regrets About Buying a House
Even if you’ve never taken out a mortgage or bought a home before, you probably have some idea of what the process is like from watching others go through it, not to mention thoughts about what you want out of your future dream home. But new research shows that the home buying process and the decisions you make throughout it are trickier than you might think.
Apr 13, 2017
45 Minutes Well Spent If You Can’t Decide to Rent or Buy
If you lustfully dream about getting out of the rental game—to have creative control over your space or just to stop “throwing away money” every month—you’ve no doubt given some thought to whether it’s cheaper to rent or to buy where you live. It’s easy enough to search out a couple of listings on Zillow to give yourself a quick answer, but the truth is there are lots of unexpected financial effects to weigh—on both sides.
Mar 16, 2017
The Nitty Gritty: 3 Too-Real Ways Young People Are Making Homeownership Possible
The reality of owning a home isn’t as simple as it used to be decades ago. Many first-time home buyers are now waiting longer than they ever have, around six years, before shifting from being a renter to being a home owner. (And rates of homeownership are down further than they have been in nearly fifty years.) For many potential home buyers, unsurprisingly, the down payment is their biggest obstacle. Housing prices have gone up while household income has remained relatively stagnant.
Mar 13, 2017
The New York City Apartments I’d Love to Buy if I Had a Spare 500K
Sometimes, when I feel like looking at beautiful things but also like being really depressed, I’ll search for real estate in New York. New York (especially Manhattan) is a real estate landscape like no other, with apartments that are essentially just tiny rooms regularly selling for half a million dollars or more. But if you look hard enough, you can, occasionally, find places that are quite desirable, and even (somewhat) affordable.
Mar 10, 2017
First Time Homebuyers On: What We Wish We Knew Before Buying
Before you’ve done something, it’s pretty hard to know what you don’t know. When it comes to the complicated, terrifying steps required to buy your first home, there’s a lot of opportunity to not know. First-time home buyers Tiffany and Alan Goldstein bought a cute, chic Austin bungalow — and learned a few things about buying a home in the process. Build a budget so you can set goals. If you can’t afford a home right now, don’t force it.
Feb 20, 2017
Sick of Renting? How One Couple Got Out of the Rental Game for Good
When Tasha and her husband Travis began the hunt for their first house, they each had different dream homes in mind. “He wanted a well-established neighborhood and land, I wanted to be urban and have a lot of character,” says Tasha. Compromise was inevitable, and thankfully, this house in Falcon Heights, Minnesota fit the bill for the couple. “In the end, the compromise was really the best for both of us.
Feb 17, 2017
How to Make Buying a Home a Less Stressful Experience
Looking forward to making one of the biggest, most exciting purchases of your life? Of course you are! Stressing about finding the perfect home at the perfect price at the perfect time for the biggest purchase of your life? Of course you are. A life event as monumental as buying a home will always come with a side of stress. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to make that stress a lot less.
Feb 17, 2017
A First-Time Home Buyer On: Things You Don’t Know Before You Buy
Anastassia Nelson loves the Tacoma neighborhood where she bought her first house. In the heart of her hometown, it’s close to both where she grew up and within walking distance to bars and a local coffee shop. “I targeted an area I was familiar with and that is also considered up-and-coming. I hope that in the end it will have great resale value when the day comes to move up to my next venture,” she writes. The scariest part was dealing with a huge life step.
Feb 10, 2017
Real Estate in Real Life: What You Can Do Online vs. In-Person
It’s one thing to buy a shirt online that you’ve never seen or tried on in-person. It’s another thing entirely if you try to apply that buying technique to a house. Looking at online listings is a helpful first step in the home-buying process—with the key word being “first.” Buying a home without viewing it yourself in person (and preferably with a skilled realtor) is just asking for a raw deal.
Feb 7, 2017
A Glossary for Beginner Buyers: Real Estate Terms Every Aspiring Homeowner Should Know
Looking to buy your first home? Struggling to make sense of an avalanche of new terminology? You’re not alone. Taking your first foray into the world of real estate can feel like being dropped unceremoniously into a foreign country. You’re disoriented, bewildered and you don’t speak the language. If that weren’t enough, it can feel like everyone around you expects you to be fluent from minute one.
Feb 3, 2017
Want to Buy Your First Home This Year? 4 Easy To-Do’s to Check Off Your List First
Buying a home is a big financial (and life!) step, and if you’ve never done it before, it can feel overwhelming. Diving straight into the murky waters of mortgage rates and median home prices can be scary, so doing a few little steps can help you rack up some easy wins and put you in a positive homebuyer headspace. Here are four super simple tasks that you can easily check off your list.
Jan 30, 2017
A First-Time Home Buyer On: Deciding to Buy a House in Your Twenties
Anastassia Nelson recently purchased a 925 square foot 1920s bungalow in Tacoma, Washington, and spent a year renovating the house into a stylish cottage full of vintage finds. And Ana was only 25 when she became a homeowner. Are you impressed? I’m 33 (not a homeowner) and very impressed. Ana was kind of enough to answer some questions about how she bought a home while still in her twenties, from how to know when she was ready to how long it took to save up for a down payment.
Jan 16, 2017
From the Credit Check to Getting the Keys: Answers for the Big First-Time Homebuying Questions
New to the home-buying process? If you’re ready to start looking for your dream home—or if you’re just looking to learn more about how buying a home works for the future—there’s a lot you’ll need to know. The process is long and can be as stressful and confusing as it is exciting.
Jan 5, 2017
7 Signs that Buying an Income Property Might Be the Right Choice for You
If you are considering purchasing a home, you have likely already read everything you can get your hands on espousing the pros and cons of owning your own home. Rent vs. Buy has become one of the big debates of our time, but what do you do if you are solidly on team Buy, but the numbers just don’t add up? Read on for signs that a small multifamily property (meaning a duplex, triplex or fourplex) may be an option for you.
Dec 22, 2016
Budget-Busting Red Flags to Look for When Buying an Older Home
Wooed by its close proximity to our favorite beach, my husband and I bought an older home in Charleston, SC, last spring. One year and tons of cash later, we’ve learned the hard way that it isn’t always the big, glaring problems with older homes that’ll bite you right in the butt—er, budget. In our experience, it’s the little red flags that sneak up and rob you blind before you can close the front door.
Oct 28, 2016
What Nobody Tells You About Buying Your First Home
As of about a month ago, I’m officially a homeowner. My husband and I laid claim to our own little corner of a building that used to be a pickle factory, and so far, it’s been both my greatest joy and the biggest source of stress I’ve ever encountered in my life. Most people only like to talk about that first part.
Jul 22, 2016
The Home Buying Process, According to Stock Photos
Do you find the home buying process mystifying and maybe a bit overwhelming? You’re not alone. Apparently stock photo sites don’t really get it either. So here’s a silly, but also hopefully informative, look at the home-buying process. First, you’ll want to check your credit to help determine how much of a loan you’ll be approved for. It’s easy, using the handy yellow “Credit Report” button on your laptop.
Jun 23, 2016
The House Hunting Trick That Might Just Turn Everything Around (Literally)
If you’re seeing house after house without feeling something click, then here’s a little tidbit. You have so much weighing going on in your mind that you may fail to remember this super simple truth that could really make a difference. You have your list of must-haves and you have your really-wants but don’t let this one thing stop you from pouncing on a home that might just be perfect for you.
Sep 19, 2015
Is it Ever OK to Ask Friends How Much They Paid for Their Home?
My husband and I are in the process of saving for a house. We’re among the last of our friends to buy their first place and, since friends know we’re looking, we’re getting some great advice about home ownership. The people in our lives have been very forthcoming about their budgets and payments, something that’s tremendously helpful as we figure out exactly how much house we can afford.
Jun 30, 2015
First Time Homebuyer? 6 Essentials to Take With You On a House Hunt
Whether you’re looking for a home right now or plan to be on the hunt some time next year, don’t just stumble into a house hunt unprepared. While the process is exciting, there might be a few things you want to make sure you have on hand during the search so you can hunt for the home of your dreams smarter.
Jan 6, 2015
10 Things to Check Before You Buy a Home
We’ve learned the hard way that there are some very important things that should be checked before signing the papers to buy a new home. Of course, you’ll have a professional do an inspection and look over the place to make sure the home is termite and flood damage free, but these ten things fall into a different category; the immediate to-do list, which is something you may not want to be adding to right now.
Feb 4, 2014