5 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

5 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

  • Patrick Westfall
  • 05/8/22

Boulder real estate is one of the most desirable markets in Colorado, if not the entire Western United States. Many people want to live in Boulder because of its stunning landscapes, natural beauty, endless cultural opportunities, and friendly neighbors. The prices of Boulder homes for sale reflect the popularity of the area. Getting your feet wet in the real estate market is a good idea when laying roots in the area. There are many ways to prepare for the ability to buy a piece of property for the first time.

Work with a local real estate agent

The most critical aspect of buying Boulder real estate is to work with an expert real estate agent. Agents love to establish relationships with first-time homebuyers because it can be the beginning of a long-term relationship that guarantees the agent a client for years, or even decades, to come.
Another essential aspect real estate agents bring to the table is their familiarity with Boulder real estate and Boulder homes for sale. The agent will guide you through the process, predicting all the questions you may have as a first-time homebuyer before asking them. An excellent real estate agent's guidance is invaluable, giving you the tools you need for further real estate ventures. Boulder agents and brokers provide valuable advice and dedicate countless hours to your needs to find your dream home and make the first-time home buying experience a positive one.

Understand your finances and down payments

Once you’ve secured a Boulder real estate agent, it’s time to evaluate your finances. Consider your savings for down payments and extra fees this is where your agent comes in handy! Many first-time homebuyers aren’t aware of these “hidden” fees when purchasing a property. Before you scour the market for the dream home, work with your agent to determine your budget. Then, search for homes that meet your monetary requirements and home necessities. Your agent can narrow your search based on the listing price, neighborhood, and size of the property you’re searching for.
For first-time homebuyers, most real estate transactions have significantly lower down payments required because lenders realize that those buying a home for the first time likely will not have enough money for the standard 20% down payment. Down payments as low as 3%, or even programs that allow one to make a higher offer and have the seller turn around and make the initial down payment for you, are possibilities.
Many of these programs for first-time homebuyers are also federally sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, so it is important to speak to a good mortgage broker and have them ask you the relevant questions to see what opportunities exist for you a first-time homebuyer. When you buy your second, fifth, or even twelfth home, these opportunities will not exist for you, so it is a great idea to find out what is available for you and take advantage of it from your first dive into owning property.

Find a reputable mortgage broker

You may need to obtain a loan to secure one of the Boulder homes for sale. Because a house is likely the most expensive thing you will ever purchase, it is crucial to have a skilled broker who can find you the best rate possible and the best terms. A good broker can be the difference between a $2,000 per month mortgage payment and a $2,300 per month mortgage payment. Naturally, you would like to spend that extra $300 on investments, furniture, or entertainment.
A mortgage broker is necessary for first-time homebuyers because it simplifies your experience while providing the best deals for your financial needs. Not only will your broker provide valuable information, but they can also make the loan process move quickly — something that will work in your favor once you find your dream home! Consider interviewing a few brokers before selecting the agency right for you. Don’t forget to utilize your real estate agent during this process, too they can recommend a few in your area to help you get started.

Appeal to the seller

In a seller’s market, you might assume the highest bid is the winning bid however, that’s not always the case. If you find your dream home and offer thousands of dollars above asking, thinking that will secure your bid, you could walk away disappointed.
Several factors determine a “winning bid,” and it’s not always the high price tag. Sure, sellers love receiving offers well above the asking price. However, there are other factors to consider. If you aim to make an offer above the asking price but include the standard contingencies, like an inspection, this may not win out. Potential buyers are foregoing inspections in a competitive market, which isn’t the best path for a first-time homebuyer. Everything about the homebuying process is new for you including the eventual upkeep of a property. Foregoing an inspection may not be the best bet, as you will have no idea what your new home will look like or what potential problems it may have.
So, how can you appeal to a buyer while leaving your inspection contingency in place? Letters to sellers are an excellent way to make a human connection that’s not about numbers. In a competitive market, it helps to take time to craft a letter of interest in the home explain you’re a first-time buyer, you’re looking forward to starting in this home, etc. Tell the sellers why you feel this home should be yours! Paint a picture of who you are and what kind of life their home will provide. Tell a story and tug at heartstrings this gesture is the “little something extra” that goes a long way.
If an offer letter doesn’t work, you can always consider a cash offer, which is usually a winning offer. Potential buyers who offer cash almost always win because it speeds up the entire buying process and makes the transaction smooth for both parties. If you have the funds and your dream home is within reach, go for it! Just remember, when crafting the perfect offer, the highest bid isn’t always the winning bid.

Keep an open mind

It’s easy for first-time buyers to feel overwhelmed and stressed by the process. After all, this is the most significant financial transaction you will ever make! Is the paperwork in order? Did you find the best real estate agent? Mortgage broker? Did you expand your neighborhood search? Did you attend the open houses, virtual tours, and check out the local school districts? There are many questions to answer, but it’s crucial to take your time, stay organized, and work with your agent. Keep an open mind when navigating this experience if an offer falls through, don’t get discouraged. Your dream home in Boulder is right around the corner!

Become part of the community

There is a good reason why Boulder homes sell quickly everyone wants to live here! Community, nature, and educational opportunities are strong pulls to the area. It is a beautiful place to live, and therefore it is a great idea to get in on the ground floor of local real estate.
Ready to take the next step? Reach out to experienced Boulder real estate agent Patrick Westfall for guidance throughout the home-buying process.