You’ve made the choice to buy a house, where do you start? Spoiler alert – not Zillow.
Get help. You’re going to need it.
Buying your first home is exciting and terrifying. Getting the help you need from the right professionals will tilt the scales significantly to the former. You’ll need to fill three key roles to guide you to closing day: a lender, a realtor, and an attorney.
Interview a few candidates for each role. Ask questions, be curious, understand that you are hiring them, and the relationship needs to fit your personality and goals.
The first pick in your draft should be your lender. The lender should be able to walk you through all the nuances of the financing part of buying a home and set you up with the right type of mortgage for your situation. Their patience and ability to educate you on the process will be highly valuable to reduce confusion and provide peace of mind.
Make sure you have a full understanding of your budget and what you are comfortable taking on in a mortgage and all the other costs associate with the transaction. After you are pre-approved, you’ll need someone to show you available properties.
Many real estate agencies have buying specialists – and even better – agents that specialize in serving first time buyers. They will understand common concerns, be wary of things often overlooked, remain patient when you are anxious, and on the flip side, communicate urgency if you need a push. You’ll spend quite a bit of time with your real estate agent and things are bound to get personal.
They need to know about who you are and what is driving you to buy a house so they can help you find the right fit. Once your submitted offer is accepted, you’ll need someone to draft the contract.
Depending on your situation and the house you make an offer on, a lawyer could be the most valuable player. It is important that your attorney is keen on details and understanding of your priorities while drafting contracts and amendments to fit them. They are literally writing the rules for both parties prior to closing.
Finding three people that flex to your style, care about your goals, and work well as a team will allow your first real estate purchase to go as smooth as possible. There will be speedbumps along the way, but the right people can help clear your path and you will have the keys before you know it.
The really hard part will be finding three more people to help you carry boxes.
Josh Larson is a Senior Planner at BDF. In this role, Josh offers analysis throughout the comprehensive planning process and helps in maintaining strong client relationships. He studied at Aurora University and earned degrees in Accounting and Business & Commerce. Josh is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.