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First-time Homebuyers: The Basics of Buying Your First Home

First-Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home is one of the most important financial commitments you'll ever make, so you need to be sure you have taken all the pertinent factors into account before you make the purchase. Not only do you need to consider issues such as your budget and credit rating, but also elements such as neighborhoods and amenities, quality of construction, market pricing and interest rates. Take plenty of time to conduct a thorough research analysis of all these factors--homes should never be purchased simply on impulse or instinct.

Here are some issues to consider:

Credit and mortgage structure

Your credit score is never more important than when you are buying your first home. Homebuyers with low credit were able to secure mortgages in the past, but with the massive fallout from the subprime mortgage market, those days are over. This is also a good time to think carefully about how much you can afford to pay in mortgage payments and how much you can contribute as a down payment.

Interest rates

When interest rates are low, mortgage payments are also relatively low, so homebuyers can afford more expensive homes. Don't secure a loan with a variable rate, though, since your mortgage payments will increase as interest rates rise. If rates are low, make sure you lock them in by securing a fixed rate mortgage.

Quality of construction

Make certain to conduct a thorough, professional home inspection before purchase. While there are many ways to spruce up the appearance of a home for the purpose of listing it for sale, the important stuff is behind the drywall and underneath the floorboards. Wood rot, rust, poor construction techniques and sub-grade materials can all be hidden from view. You need the eyes of a professional to find and assess these factors.


Building equity in your home is always important, so make sure that you purchase a home in a desirable or up-and-coming neighborhood that will benefit from stable or increased property values over time. Accessibility to public transportation, proximity to amenities such as grocery stores, good schools and nearby parks are all things that ensure solid equity appreciation.


Some homebuyers find their homes without the use of a broker, thereby saving around three percent of the transaction price. But brokers offer many benefits to the buyer, such as a refined knowledge of the area and access to listings not available to the public. You'll want to take these factors into account when deciding whether to use the services of a brokerage.

It can take six months or more of research and investigation before a first-time homebuyer finds the perfect home. Exercising patience and diligence can reap great rewards down the line, so don't rush the process. Take as much time as you need to conduct a thorough analysis of all the issues listed above.

If you're ready to purchase your first home, don't wait another minute! Contact the real estate professionals at for more information. We've helped many first-time buyers become proud homeowners, and we can do the same for you.