Looking for a house is indeed an exciting task especially if you’re a first time buyer. That exhilarating feeling while thinking of your ideal house, trying to envision how it would look like and planning on what you’d like to do once you get your hands on it. You start searching the net, looking for possible designs, and trying to find some prospects. The thrill of coming across that “perfect home” makes you want to cut the process short.

As exciting as it may seem, it may also be overwhelming especially when it’s your first time and you haven’t really had any previous experience. Don’t get me wrong. It can also be a daunting task even with experienced buyers. Even they, can forget about the process or the necessary considerations when it comes to home buying. Yes, it may not be as easy as it seems. It is a complex process that you have to be ready for before you even start the process itself. It helps to be well-educated and prepared to avoid complications.  

Most likely, you’ll be faced with a lot of questions and there are a lot of things that you would like to know. Well, that’s not a bad thing after all. Remember, “there is no such thing as a dumb question.” Cliché as it may sound, it is important to know the answers to these questions rather than keep them to yourself. So here are some of the questions a buyer might have as well as possible answers to each question.

Do I need to be pre-approved before I start the search?

The answer – yes! As we know, pre-approval is the lender’s written commitment that guarantees the borrower that he/she can get financing for a certain amount. It is the process wherein the lender will get some information from you including bank statements and employment details, and may run a credit check.

Some people may think that this is not necessary, but believe me, being able to obtain financing is very important and it usually is the first step. Having been pre-approved gives the seller an impression that you’re really serious in purchasing so they’re most likely to show you their property as compared to someone who is not. It would give you an advantage especially with multiple offers. By getting pre-approved, you’ll be able to set your budget since you already have an idea on how much you can allot for the purchase. This will in turn save you from disappointments compared to finding a property that would win your heart first, only to find out that you can’t afford it.

Consulting the bank and being able to talk to a mortgage professional would help you understand the ins and outs of financing, clarify the terms and costs associated with it and find the most suitable type of loan for you; since there are different types of financing depending on your needs. You can ask what programs are available for first-time home buyers.

Should I buy or rent?

It depends. It may vary depending on you – the buyer. There are some things that you have to take into consideration for you to be able to decide on this aspect. Consider the pros and cons before making a decision. Normally, buying generates lower interest rates than renting so it may be wiser to choose to purchase. However, there are also other factors that you need to consider. You have to think carefully on how long you plan to stay. There’s more stability in buying while flexibility is higher in renting. Of course, it would be reasonable to rent if you only intend to stay for a short period of time. Another thing is responsibilities. Are you ready to shoulder the responsibilities of owning a house? If you decide to purchase, you’d have to include maintenance, repairs, taxes, and other stuff as part of your to-do list. Not only are they expensive but they’re also time-consuming.

Can I find a rent to own house?

Possibly! Well, it isn’t impossible, however, there’s a slim chance that you’d actually find one. It’s very rare that the owner would give you the right to buy the house after a few years. Terms in this type of set up are usually favorable to the owner than the buyer. It would usually require a huge amount of down payment and high interest.

Is now the ideal time?

This is a question that your realtor may even ask you. Do you think you’re ready to continue on with your home-buying? Do you have a stable job? Are you financially secure? Can your income afford to pay a mortgage? Taking all these things into consideration, you have to decide whether now is the ideal time for you. Reflect on your reasons and motivations.

How many houses do I need to check?

There is no specific number. Whether you choose the first home that you looked at or the 20th home, it doesn’t really matter. Your choice is not dependent on how many homes you’ve visited. Falling in love with the first home that you see is entirely acceptable.

Do I need a Realtor?

Definitely! Though it may seem unnecessary, having a realtor helps a lot and makes your buying experience less stressful.

Some buyers prefer to do things on their own and there’s nothing wrong with that. Having a realtor, however, makes a huge difference since they are experts on this field. They are more knowledgeable about the neighborhood and can assure you that their recommendations are best suited to whatever type of property you’re looking for. You can get a lot of useful tips on how you can find your dream home. A Realtor would research homes that are for sale based on your budget and preferences.

From finding the right property, coordinating a tour, making an offer (that includes doing an analysis to come up with a reasonable price), assisting with home inspection, until the final walk through and closing; your realtor will be there with you. Your home buying would be much difficult without a realtor to work with you.

It is equally important to find the right realtor since not everyone is the same.  Choose not only an experienced agent but also someone who can relate to you and would look after your best interest. Remember: Who you work with matters!