Essential Advice for First-Time Home Buyers

house for sale
  • Establish a budget, considering income, expenses, and future costs like property taxes and home maintenance.
  • Obtain pre-approval for a mortgage, helping identify potential credit score issues and proving serious intent.
  • Select a reliable real estate professional, preferably someone familiar with the local market and first-time buyers.
  • Consider location and neighborhood, ensuring the selected area suits your lifestyle and offers good resale value.
  • Be patient, tour multiple properties, and take your time home-buying, ensuring the right fit.

In July 2023, the estimated sales of new single-family houses reached 714,000. This figure represents a 4.4 percent increase from the 684,000 revised rate for June and a significant 31.5 percent rise from the 543,000 estimate for July 2022.

With so much to consider, figuring out where to start can take time. To help you, you can go through this guide to essential advice for first-time home buyers. The article covers these topics, from figuring out your budget to finding the right real estate professional.

Figure Out Your Budget

Couple checking their finances before buying a house.

Before you start house hunting, you must know how much you can afford. Take a close look at your income, expenses, and debt to clearly understand your financial situation. Then, use an online mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments.

Other Expenses

Don’t forget to factor in additional costs like property taxes, home insurance, and maintenance. Once you have a solid understanding of your budget, you can focus your search on homes within your price range.

Plan Your Down Payment

It’s also essential to plan ahead for your down payment. The more you can put down upfront, the lower your monthly payments will be. If you don’t have enough saved, consider talking to a financial advisor about other options like taking out loans or using an inheritance.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

One of the best ways to show sellers that you’re a serious buyer is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This involves completing a mortgage application and providing documentation such as proof of income and employment.

Financial Information

Your lender will review your financial information and provide a pre-approval letter that shows how much you can borrow. Having a pre-approval letter in hand can help you move quickly when you find a home you love and give you an edge in a competitive market.

Credit Score

Another advantage of getting pre-approved is that it helps you identify any issues with your credit score or other areas that might prevent you from getting the best possible mortgage. That way, you can take steps to correct them before you start shopping for a home.

Choose the Right Real Estate Professional

Working with a reputable real estate agency can make all the difference when buying your first home. Look for someone with experience working with first-time home buyers and knowledgeable about the local market.

Facilitate Home-Buying Process

A good real estate agent can help you look for a home that meets your requirements. They can also negotiate on your behalf and guide you through the home-buying process. Take the time to find someone you feel comfortable working with and trust to represent your interests.


One way to find a reliable real estate agent is to get referrals from friends, family members, or colleagues who have recently purchased a home. You can also check out online reviews and ask potential agents questions about their experience and expertise.

Consider the Location and Neighborhood

Remember to think beyond the house itself when considering your purchase. The location and neighborhood you choose will impact your lifestyle and the resale value of your home. Consider factors like commute times, school districts, and local amenities like parks and restaurants.

Check the Neighborhood

Take the time to walk around the neighborhood and talk to locals to get a sense of what life is like in the area. Buying a home is a significant investment, so choose a location and neighborhood you’ll be happy to call home for years.

Don’t Rush the Process

Couple consulting a professional before buying a house.

Finally, remember that buying a home is a big decision, and it’s important not to rush the process. Take the time to view multiple properties, ask questions, and do your research. Don’t feel pressured to make an offer on a property that doesn’t fit perfectly. Trust your instincts and take the time to find the home that’s right for you.


Buying a house takes time, so be patient and stay organized. Create a timeline with milestones like getting pre-approved, finding the right agent, and touring homes. Take notes throughout your search, and remember to keep track of expenses in case you need them for deductions at tax time.

Buying your first home is an exciting time, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. By following these essential tips, you’ll feel more confident and empowered throughout the process. Remember to take the time to figure out your budget, get pre-approved for a mortgage, choose the right real estate professional, consider the location and neighborhood, and don’t rush the process. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to finding the home of your dreams.

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