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5 Tips for First-Time Lakewood Real Estate Homebuyers

April 20, 2016

So, you’ve decided to buy a home. Now what? Navigating the Lakewood real estate market can be tricky, especially for first-time homebuyers. Don’t let the stress of searching ruin this special moment in your life. Years down the road, you’ll still remember your first home; so, make it a good one with these helpful tips for first-time homebuyers:

Get pre-approved.
How do you know where to start on your search without knowing what you can afford to buy? It’s essential to get pre-approved before you begin your home search so you avoid wasting time on homes out of your price range.

Create a wish list.
Now that you’re pre-approved, sit down and make a wish list of features in a home you can’t live without. Love to cook and entertain? You need a home with a spacious kitchen and high-end appliances. Create a separate column for features that are important to you, but not deal-breakers if they’re not included. Be realistic when creating your list! Just because you saw it on Pinterest does not mean you can afford it. Remember that many aspects of a home can be improved upon or repaired with the help of professionals, so even if you can’t check everything off your list at the time of purchase, it may be possible down the road.

Add all expenses.
Be smart when it comes to the financial aspect of purchasing a home. Once you have an idea of what your monthly mortgage payment will be, remember this is not the only bill you’ll have at the end of the month. There are other recurring fees associated with owning a home, such as HOA fees, homeowners insurance and property tax. These fees must be calculated into your monthly budget before you decide if you can afford to take on a mortgage and a new home. Don’t forget to include other personal bills such as car payments, groceries, and utilities that will carry over when you move as well.

Do two visits.
Sometimes, Lakewood real estate buyers immediately recognize they may have found their future home the second they step foot in the house. This can be an incredibly exciting and overwhelming feeling, especially for first-time buyers. But it can also cloud your judgment. Be sure you’ve stepped back to look at the home with a critical eye by doing two walk-throughs before you make an offer. Let your emotions and excitement run wild the first time, and then come back when you’re ready to take the rose-colored glasses off and look at the house with a rational mind.

Look at the fine print.
Moving to a community with a Homeowners Association (HOA)? Be sure to read the fine print on the rules and regulations established within the community. Have kids? Some associations may not approve of you putting up a basketball hoop or swing set in your yard. Plan on leaving your home after a few years and renting it out for additional income? HOAs may not allow it in some communities. It’s important to understand what you will and will not be able to do in your new home, so be sure to go over all of the guidelines established by the HOA before signing on the dotted line.

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to find a Lakewood real estate agent who can guide you to the home of your dreams. Contact us at 720-220-2059 to talk to the experienced agents at Colorado Home Sales.