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Basic Tips for First Time Home Buyers

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Choosing a first home can be a daunting task, but following a few key steps makes it a lot less confusing.

An essential part of the process for every home buyer is to simply do the math. It is very wise to do all the financial planning first, before beginning the search for a suitable property to buy. Every home buyer should shop around for the mortgage deal which suits them best, and calculate exactly how much the monthly repayments will be for each loan option, how much the loan will cost in the long term, and how long it will take to repay, to get a clear picture of exactly how much property they can afford to buy. Most mortgage lenders offer pre-qualified loans, so buyers can shop for their new home with the confidence of knowing exactly what they can afford. Having a pre-qualified loan deal also means the buyer can move quickly on a purchase when they find the right property, which can be a great advantage particularly if there are other interested buyers.

Choosing whether to use an agent, and choosing which agent to use is another important step. Negotiating the purchase directly with the seller can save a substantial commission fee, but inexperienced home buyers in particular can benefit from the advice and negotiation skills of a good realtor. An experienced realtor can give advice on factors which may affect the future resale value of the home. A good agent also has knowledge of the real estate market in a specific area, and can help point a buyer in the right direction by showing them properties with features which are most important to them.

David Cannell is a freelance writer and university educator. He is the owner of

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