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1st Time Buyer Checklist



Buying your first home can be pretty scary. There's a lot of things to remember and think about and most people can become overwhelmed pretty quickly. Our First Time Buyer Checklist brings together a lot of these things in a quick, concise list you can print and keep at hand.

  • Clean Credit - With all of the changes in the Mortgage industry over the last year, maintaining a clean credit history is essential. The better your score, the better your rate and the more choices you'll have. Check your credit history and make sure any debts or balances that have been paid off have been removed - this may mean contacting creditors or the credit bureaus to have something removed.
  • A Pre-Approval letter - Speak with a Mortgage Professional and find out how much home you can afford, then have a Pre-Approval letter printed. Your Realtor will appreciate it, and you'll know the price range you can afford and how much you can offer on a house that you find.
  • List your Needs, Wants and Must Haves - A list of what you absolutely need in a home, what you want or would like and must have will help you and your Realtor find houses worth looking at. You might even consider rating each item on your list so you can prioritize.
  • Define where you want to live - It may sound strange, but actually defining the area where you want to live can be more help than you know. For example, if you want to live in the 'North Metro' area, the last thing you want is to have a Realtor who specializes in 'South Suburbs' or to have someone taking you far afield of your desired neighborhood. Define it up front and work from there.
  • Details - When you do find a house that you want to make an offer on, spell out the details. List everything you want from the seller including that pool table in the basement or the amount of the earnest money. don't trust verbal agreements - put everything in writing.
  • Negotiate - Negotiation is not a lost art! Try to get the best deal you can - your Realtor should be able to help you. You can even ask for repairs to be done - you won't know if they'll agree if you don't ask!
  • Inspection - An inspection protects you from any hidden caveats so don't skimp on the costs and have it done right the first time - you never know what they might find and it's almost always worth the time and expense.

Have Fun! There's a lot to remember, a lot to do and consider, but don't let it all stress you out. Remember, this is Good Thing - your First House!!

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