First-time home buyers in Seattle are almost always at a disadvantage. They are doing something they’ve never done before, and, having no experience with home buying, often wind up making big and costly mistakes. Experienced buyers, however, have been through it all before and know what to be aware of and what to look out for. But we’d like to save you the rough blows and unexpected expenses that are part of the school of experience and hard knocks. So here are 6 things experienced buyers know that first-time home buyers in Seattle may be unaware of.
1. Shop for a Lender
First-time home buyers in Seattle are often so excited about buying their first home that they don’t do due diligence with respect to lenders. They often go with the first lender who offers financing. But that’s a mistake.
First-time home buyers (or any buyer, really) should talk to more than one lender and shop for the best deal for their particular needs. Finding the right mortgage is almost as important as finding the right home. So first-time buyers in Seattle should carefully consider these factors:
- Interest rates
- Origination fees
- Mortgage insurance premiums
- Third-party fees
In addition, you should shop various types of lenders, for example, big banks, local banks, credit unions, and online lenders. The fact is if you go with the wrong lender, it could wind up costing you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
2. Buy for Tomorrow, Not Today
Another thing that most first-time home buyers in Seattle are unaware of is that in buying a home they should really be buying for the future rather than merely for today. Needs, lifestyles, and family sizes can change quickly, and a home that suits your needs today may not in the near future.
Yes, you can always sell your home and trade up, but there can be huge financial drawbacks. On average, it takes about four years to recoup the costs of buying a home. So if you wind up having to sell in just a couple of years because you outgrew your home, you’ll likely lose thousands of dollars.
Your Seattle agent can provide valuable assistance here, helping you select a home that will be right for you both today and tomorrow. To discover more about this, just call (206) 578-3438.
3. Pay Attention With All Senses
Also, when viewing a potential home, you should use all your senses. First-time home buyers in Seattle often make the mistake of using only their eyes.
For example, did you stumble downhill a little when entering a room? That probably indicates a sloping floor, which typically means foundation problems. Or did you detect a funny smell in the bathroom? That could be a sign of mold problems – and mold abatement is a long and expensive process.
Basically, you should use all your senses to detect possible problems and not just pay attention to the attractive things you see in the home. Your agent can be a valuable asset in this regard as well.
4. Inspectors Always Find Problems
First-time home buyers in Seattle should also be aware that inspectors always find problems. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should call the deal off, but you should pay attention to the inspection report.
You may be able to overlook minor things, but not major problems. If, say, the inspection finds that the roof needs to be replaced, it’s possible that you should reconsider. Or maybe you could have your agent negotiate a deal in which the seller repairs the roof or reduces the price.
5. The Escrow Account
And then there’s the escrow account, which many first-time home buyers in Seattle are utterly unaware of. Surprise, out-of-pocket costs are no fun for anyone.
Some lenders require the setting up of an escrow account alongside the mortgage loan. Its purpose is to allow the lender to pay specific ongoing, property-related expenses on the borrower’s behalf – to make sure they get paid – such as private mortgage insurance and property taxes. Typically, the buyer will make a deposit into the escrow account at closing and then pay a little each month above the mortgage payment.
6. The Value of a Seattle Agent
A final thing experienced buyers know that first-time home buyers are typically unaware of is the value of a good Seattle agent. Experienced agents are top negotiators, and your agent can get you the best deal possible. Don’t pay more than you have to. Contact us today at (206) 578-3438 if you’re one of the first-time home buyers in Seattle.