It’s normal to feel a bit lost when you decide to buy a house for the first time. There are many factors to consider, including choosing a real estate agent, financing, budget, and all the details and deal-breakers you’re looking for in your first home. You may also be worried about being a first-time homebuyer in this real estate market, but worry no more.
We’ve gathered a list of first-time home buyer questions to assist you in making a choice that benefits you for many years to come. Review this guide of questions to ask when buying a house for the first time, and even share it with your loved ones and friends who also may have first-time home buyer questions.
What makes someone a first-time home buyer?
A standard definition of a first-time home buyer is someone who has not owned a home in the past 3 years. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, questions like “How will I afford a down payment?” and “Will my income afford me the home I want?” are common. To assist first-time home buyers, some programs and special loans are available that make homeownership more accessible.
What is best for first-time homebuyers?
Our best tip for first-time homebuyers is to work with a trustworthy and reputable sales agent. Experienced real estate professionals will be able to handle all of your first-time home buyer questions while helping you find the perfect home for you on your terms.
Another first-time homebuyer tip we like to offer clients is to prepare for the purchase by knowing the questions to ask when buying a house for the first time. Since you’re here, you’re well on your way to a successful first-time home purchase!
What type of home do I want?
Depending on your budget, lifestyle, plans to start a family, or even moving in a few years, one of the most critical first-time home buyer questions is what type of home is best for you? A brand-new construction home will have a higher price tag than a home that needs to be renovated, but there are associated costs with renovations. Consider what is easiest and the most feasible before you start your search.
Where do I want to live?
The city life brings charm and convenience, and the suburbs can provide room to grow and more of a community feel. How far do you want to commute? Which neighborhoods or areas have the types of homes that you love? These are common FAQs about home buying and your new neighborhood that are helpful in choosing the right location for your new home.
What type of loan should I get?
One of the most common first-time home buyer questions is about financing. After you have decided on home type and location, you can discuss the best home loan with your lender. They will review your assets, income, and credit score to guide you to a loan that will get you into your first home.
How much do I need for the down payment?
You want to have close to 20% of the home’s price to cover the down payment at the time of purchase. If you want to save and put more down, that can help you have equity early on and have fewer interest fees. First-time home buyers may be able to unlock special programs to reduce your down payment, if needed.
What are closing fees?
There will be fees that you need to prepare for and know about to seal the deal at the closing table. There will be home inspection costs, taxes on the home for possibly a few months, an application fee from the lender, and an appraisal fee. The closing fees will be around 2% to 5%. This is a very important first-time home buyer question to get answered as the money needed has to be considered when budgeting for the home purchase.
How much will property taxes cost me?
This is one of the important questions to ask when buying a house, no matter if it’s your first or fifth house. Be sure to do the research on estimated taxes for the home. This can sometimes be a shocker for first-time home buyers, so as much as possible, look into any fees or expenses. Your real estate agent can answer first-time home buyer questions pertaining to property taxes.
What is the breakdown of my mortgage payment?
A very important first-time home buyer question will clarify the mortgage payment because the buyer is responsible for paying that amount each month. The mortgage payment consists of the principal loan, mortgage interest rate, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. If your community has a homeowner’s association, fees will be included for that. A Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) may also be in the monthly payment. Mortgage questions are essential questions to ask when buying a house.
How much will utilities cost me?
Other important monthly payment questions to ask when buying a house involve monthly utilities. You can ask the seller about how much they spent on utilities if you are purchasing a home that is not newly built. That will enable you to get a ballpark figure and develop a budget draft before you move. You can also research homes with the square footage as yours to figure out what you can expect to spend. Swimming pools and hot tubs are nice features, but they will also increase your utility expenses. A larger home will cost more to heat and cool as well.
What questions should I ask the agent when buying a house?
Once you’ve found your dream home, an experienced real estate agent should have the answers to all of your first-time home buyer questions. Popular questions to ask when buying a house for the first time include:
- What additional costs are associated with this home purchase? For example, are there HOA fees?
- When were the systems (electrical, plumbing, air conditioning and HVAC) last updated or replaced?
- Does this home come with an included home warranty?
If you’re collecting first-time home buyer questions as you begin your home search, we’re so excited to help you on this journey! Even if you’re buying your tenth home, saving this list of questions to ask when buying a house will still help your purchase process.