Top Tips for 1st-Time Home Buyers in Kitsap County WA – Tip No. 1
“Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew!”
As a licensed professional real estate broker here on the Kitsap Peninsula, perhaps one of the best bits of advice I normally dispense to 1st-Time Home Buyers is for them to stay within their means. By that, I mean, determine your workable budget for purchasing your house, and stick to it.
I have the pleasure of working with lots of 1st-Time Home Buyers, especially Active-Duty Military Service Members and their families. Kitsap County WA is home to a number of U.S. Naval installations, like Bangor Submarine Base, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport.
Unfortunately, it’s easy for 1st-Time Buyers to get caught up in the excitement of purchasing their first home and lose sight of their budget. Especially if you’re working with an agent/broker that likes to push the budget envelope and show you houses just beyond your financial reach, like dangling a carrot in front of a horse.
When you meet with your mortgage consultant to obtain pre-approval for your loan, they usually establish a price range or maximum amount of money you’re qualified to borrow, based on your credit and debt-to-income ratio. This is the figure that drives your home-searching process.
Normally, when I meet with 1st-Time Buyers (or any Buyers for that matter), they’ve already been fully pre-approved by their mortgage lender and the price range/limit has been determined. Taking that number, I begin my searching process, scouring the Northwest MLS for homes that meet their needs/requirements. I may increase the listing price criteria slightly, depending on the price point, in hopes of finding properties that have been languishing on the market for a while, and might be potential candidates for a price reduction.
But when it comes to finding ‘the’ right home for my Buyers and putting in an offer, I attempt to negotiate a contract price that is below their qualified loan amount.
First-Time Buyers are usually young singles or married couples, just starting out in their careers. The last thing they need is a huge sucking black hole mortgage payment that robs them of their ability to enjoy life.
But it’s just so tempting to push the limits of your limit, especially when you are looking at homes that are outside of your range. The houses you can’t afford are always much more fun and attractive than the ones you can afford. You try to convince yourself that you ‘deserve’ the perks of a higher-priced home. With that promotion you’re sure to get in the next couple of years, a couple hundred dollars more a month won’t matter. Right?
Well, my advice to 1st-Time Home Buyers here in Kitsap County WA is this, “Don’t Bite off more House than You can comfortably pay for!” Find a home that serves your purposes and doesn’t force you to eat a steady diet of rice and beans. When you own your first home, don’t let it own you!
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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate broker providing Knowledgeable Empowerment and Relentless Representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.com, ActiveRain, Everyday CK, HomesByHarbors, and Crabbing in the Hood, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgShare on Facebook