First Time Buyer
If you have been thinking about buying a home, Modern Property Groups would like to encourage you to first ask yourself some important questions.
Please read through the FAQ’S below to evaluate and understand the home buying process as a first time buyer.
- HOW DOES PURCHASING A HOME COMPARE WITH RENTING?
- HOW TO KNOW IF I AM READY TO BUY A HOME?
- HOW DO I BEGIN THE PROCESS OF BUYING A HOME?
- HOW DO I SELECT THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT?
- WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN WALKING THROUGH A HOME?
- WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK WHEN LOOKING AT HOMES?
- WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTOR DO, AND HOW DOES AN INSPECTION FIGURE IN THE PURCHASE OF A HOME?
- HOW CAN I FIND OUT HOW MUCH HOMES ARE SELLING FOR IN CERTAIN COMMUNITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS?
- HOW CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT LOCAL SCHOOLS?
- DO I NEED A LAWYER TO BUY A HOME?
- IS AN OLDER HOME A BETTER VALUE THAN A NEW ONE?
HOW DOES PURCHASING A HOME COMPARE WITH RENTING?
The two do not really compare at all. The one advantage of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities and having the ability to move or change homes as needed and usually with very little notice. You can move from one neighborhood to another, from a home to an apartment as life changes, or take off out of town with very little to manage prior to relocating. This is a preferred method for many people because of the “freedom”. However, by renting, you are subject to rent increases and you may not be free to decorate without permission. You also may be at the mercy of the landlord for any number of things; gardening, maintenance, and lease terms.
Owning a home has many benefits. When you make a mortgage payment, you are building equity. And that is an investment. Owning a home also qualifies you for tax breaks that assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities- like insurance, real estate taxes, and upkeep- which can be substantial. But given the freedom, stability, and security of owning your own home, they are worth it.
HOW TO KNOW IF I AM READY TO BUY A HOME?
If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you are probably ready to buy your own home.
HOW DO I BEGIN THE PROCESS OF BUYING A HOME?
Start by thinking about your situation. Are you ready to buy a home? How much can you afford in a monthly mortgage payment (see Question 5 for help)? How much space do you need? What areas of town do you like? After you answer these questions, make a “To Do” list and start doing casual research.
Modern Property Groups recommends making a list of the top 5 things you absolutely want in a home and do the same for things you absolutely will NOT want in a home. This list can be detailed or simple and have such things like I MUST have a fenced yard, I REFUSE to live near a highway, I want to stay under $872/mo., or all the closets MUST have pocket door! Whatever it is, write it down. This will be a big help in providing you and your agent the best starting point for your search and your budget. Talk to friends and family, drive through neighborhoods, and look in the “Homes” section of the newspaper.
Once you are ready to start going inside some of these homes, it is time to call Modern Property Groups.
HOW DO I SELECT THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT?
Start by asking family and friends if they can recommend an agent. Compile a list of several agents and talk to each before choosing one. Look for an agent who listens well and understands your needs, and whose judgment you trust. The ideal agent knows the local area well and has resources and contacts to help you in your search. Overall, you want to choose an agent that makes you feel comfortable and can provide all the knowledge and services you need.
Modern Property Groups has a long history of working with first time home buyers and our Buyer’s Agents have the patience and the experience to be a true asset in this adventure. If you want to speak with our agents, please call us at 573.228-9022 and we can set an appointment to talk about your interests and goals.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN WALKING THROUGH A HOME?
- Is there enough room for both the present and the future?
- Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
- Is the house structurally sound?
- Do the mechanical systems and appliances work?
- Do you like the floor plan?
- Will your furniture fit in the space? Is there enough storage space? (Bring a tape measure to better answer these questions.)
- Does anything need to repaired or replaced? Will the seller repair or replace the items?
- Imagine the house in good weather and bad, and in each season. Will you be happy with it year-round?
Take your time and think carefully about each house you see. Ask your real estate agent to point out the pros and cons of each home from a professional standpoint.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK WHEN LOOKING AT HOMES?
Many of your questions should focus on potential problems and maintenance issues. Does anything need to be replaced? What things require ongoing maintenance (e.g., paint, roof, HVAC, appliances, carpet)? Also ask about the house and neighborhood, focusing on quality of life issues. Be sure the seller’s or real estate agent’s answers are clear and complete. Ask questions until you understand all of the information they have given. Making a list of questions ahead of time will help you organize your thoughts and arrange all of the information you receive.
Click here for a scorecard you can use for each home you view.
WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTOR DO, AND HOW DOES AN INSPECTION FIGURE IN THE PURCHASE OF A HOME?
An inspector checks the safety of your potential new home. Home Inspectors focus especially on the structure, construction, and mechanical systems of the house and will provide you with a report detailing the condition of the house and make you aware of repairs that are needed.
The Inspector does not evaluate whether or not you are getting good value for your money. Generally, an inspector checks: the electrical system, plumbing and waste disposal, the water heater, insulation and ventilation, the HVAC system, water source and quality of the system/s, the potential presence of pests, the foundation, doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floors, and roof. Be sure to hire a home inspector that is qualified and experienced.
Modern Property Groups can provide you with a list of (American Society of Home Inspectors) ASHI certified inspectors as well as specialty inspectors should you desire. Click here to see the list electronically: ASHI Inspectors
It is a good idea to have an inspection. In Missouri, the offer will include an inspection clause when negotiating for the purchase of a home. An inspection t clause gives you an ‘out” on buying the house if serious problems are found, or provides you the ability to re-negotiate the purchase price if repairs are needed. An inspection clause can also specify that the seller must fix the problem(s) before you purchase the house.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT HOW MUCH HOMES ARE SELLING FOR IN CERTAIN COMMUNITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS?
Modern Property Groups can give you a ballpark figure by showing you comparable listings. We have access to comparable sales maintained on a database. Agents with a track-record will often have access to information that may not be public knowledge. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes and within certain neighborhood especially—homes can be sold privately and often without much notice. A dedicated Modern Property Groups agent can be a huge asset in acquiring this information.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT LOCAL SCHOOLS?
You can get information about school systems by contacting the city or county school board or the local schools. Your real estate agent may also be knowledgeable about schools in the area.
You can also click here to learn more about specific addresses and school districts.
DO I NEED A LAWYER TO BUY A HOME?
Laws vary by state. Some states require a lawyer to assist in several aspects of the home buying process while other states do not, as long as a qualified real estate professional is involved. Even if your state doesn’t require one, you may want to hire a lawyer to help with the complex paperwork and legal contracts. A lawyer can review contracts, make you aware of special considerations, and assist you with the closing process. Your real estate agent may be able to recommend a lawyer. If not, shop around. Find out what services are provided for what fee, and whether the attorney is experienced at representing homebuyers.
IS AN OLDER HOME A BETTER VALUE THAN A NEW ONE?
There isn’t a definitive answer to this question. You should look at each home for its individual characteristics. Generally, older homes may be in more established neighborhoods, offer more ambiances, and have lower property tax rates. People who buy older homes, however, shouldn’t mind maintaining their home and making some repairs. Newer homes tend to use more modern architecture and systems, are usually easier to maintain, and may be more energy-efficient. People who buy new homes often don’t want to worry initially about upkeep and repairs.