Top 10 Tips for Buying Your First Home


1
Understand What You're Signing
Signing off on your new home is exciting, but it's important to know the specifics.
Signing off on your new home is exciting, but it's important to know the specifics.
David Sacks/Thinkstock

You're in the home stretch. Only a few papers stand between you and getting the keys to your first home. But don't get carried away. You may want to request, from your real estate agent or mortgage broker, a draft copy of any documents to preview before the actual closing date [source: Bray, Schroeder and Stewart]. This will take away some of those emotional jitters and also allow you a bit more time to make sense of what you're signing. Don't be shy -- if you don't understand something, then ask your personal team of professionals to explain further. Be especially careful with any numbers that might be on the forms. A couple of wrong keystrokes could mean trouble down the road.

To feel more confident in what they're signing, some buyers even hire a lawyer to represent their interests during a closing process and explain any legal jargon in layman's terms. Others bring along a parent or trusted friend who's already gone through a closing process, with them.

Buying a home is a big leap, but doing your research and involving the right people can make your home buying experience one that will soon have you saying "Home Sweet Home" with a smile.

Related Articles

Sources

  • American Dream Down payment Initiative. "Program Contacts in Georgia." January 2010. (March 11, 2010)http://www.hud.gov/local/ga/homeownership/addi.cfm
  • American Home Inspectors Training Institute. "State Regulations." (March 14, 2010)http://www.ahit.com/training/stateregs/stateregs.htm
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, The. "360 Degrees of Financial Literacy: Should I buy a home or continue renting?" (March 8, 2010)http://www.360financialliteracy.org/Life+Stages/Home+Ownership/FAQs/Buying+a+Home/Should+I+buy+a+home+or+continue+renting.htm
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, The. "Buying a Home." (March 8, 2010)http://www.forefieldkt.com/kt/trns.aspx?xd=BP-CORE-07&il=a2&xsl=content
  • BayState Savings Bank. "First-Time Homebuyer Programs." (March 9, 2010)http://www.baystatesavings.com/standard/page.aspx?guid=880a3260-2c5e-4387-9064-ee5505ef8312
  • Better Business Bureau with Alice LaPlante, The. Better Business Bureau Buying a Home: Insider's Guide to Success. The Planning Shop. 2007.
  • Bray, Ilona and Alaya Schroeder and Marcia Stewart. Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home. Nolo. 2007.
  • Brown, Ray and Eric Tyson, MBA. Home Buying For Dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2009.
  • City of Glendale, CA. "First Time Homebuyer Classes." Jan. 22, 2008. (March 10, 2010)http://www.ci.glendale.ca.us/cdh/fthb_classes.asp
  • CNNMoney.com. "Final score: $8,000 for homebuyers." Feb. 17, 2009. (March 17, 2010)http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/13/real_estate/homebuyer_tax_credit_finalized/
  • Federal Reserve Board, The. "Looking for the Best Mortgage." Dec. 6, 2007. (March 8, 2010)http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/mortgage/mortb_1.htm
  • Freddie Mac. "Selection Guidelines." (March 8, 2010)http://www.freddiemac.com/corporate/buyown/English/mortgages/selecting/guidelines.html
  • Hawai'i Association of Realtors. "Understanding Your First Mortgage." (March 8, 2010)http://www.hawaiihousingprograms.org/Your_First_Mortgage.aspx
  • hoMEworks. "Benefits of Homebuyer Education." (March 15, 2010)http://www.mainehomeworks.org/benefits.htm
  • Idaho Housing and Finance Association. "Finally Home!® Homebuyer Education Classes." (March 10, 2010)
  • http://www.ihfa.org/homebuyer-education-housing-counseling/finallyhome-homebuyer-education.aspx
  • Internal Revenue Service. "10 Important Facts about the Extended First-Time Home Buyer Credit." November 30, 2009. (March 11, 2010)http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=215827,00.html?portlet=7
  • Kaplan Professional Schools. "Home Inspector Licensing Requirements & Home Inspection Legislation." (March 14, 2010)http://www.home-inspect.com/legislation.asp#IN
  • National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. "Code of Ethics." (March 16, 2010)http://www.nahi.org/public/department215.cfm
  • National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. "Legislative Map." (March 14, 2010)http://www.nahi.org/public/48.cfm
  • National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. "Standards of Practice." (March 16, 2010)http://www.nahi.org/public/department214.cfm
  • National Association of Realtors. "NAR Survey Shows First-Time Home Buyers Set Record in Past Year." November 13, 2009. (March 10, 2010)http//www.realtor.org/press­_room/news_releases/2009/11/survey_record
  • National Association of Realtors. "When is a real estate agent a REALTOR®?" (March 9, 2010)http://www.realtor.org/realtororg.nsf/pages/whoisarealtor
  • Ohio Housing Finance Agency. "Downpayment Assistance Grant." (March 9, 2010)http://www.ohiohome.org/homebuyer/downpayment.aspx
  • RE/Max International, Inc. "Buying a Home." (March 8, 2010)http://www.remax.com/learningcenter/realestate buying.aspx
  • RE/MAX International, Inc. "Choose Real Estate Agent." (March 9, 2010)http://www.remax.com/learningcenter/realestateworking.aspx
  • Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. "Texas Homeownership Division" (March 9, 2010)http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/homeownership/index.htm
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Homes and Communities: 100 Questions & Answers about Buying a New Home." (March 8, 2010)http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/buying/buyhm.cfm

UP NEXT

10 Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Home

10 Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Home

Your dream home is within reach. Now it's just a matter of finding and buying it. Here's a handy list of home-buying tips at HowStuffWorks.


More to Explore