10 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
Buying your first home is in itself the fulfillment of the American Dream. the largest investment of a lifetime, bound to last for many many years and it's your family that will be living under this roof. Over the past several years first-time home buyers may have shied away from entering the housing market due to stagnant wages and debt, but times have changed.
According to TD Bank’s First-Time Home Buyer Pulse, one in five consumers is actively looking to buy his or her first home, and 46% of millennials will be looking in the next one to two years.
If you’re a first-time buyer, the mere thought of securing a mortgage may be overwhelming. For most people, a home is the largest purchase they’ll make, and very few can take on this purchase without a loan. Here are some helpful tips and best practices for first-time buyers:
*Some content taken from Realtor.com, Forbes.com, HGTV.com, Foxbusiness.com, Home Financial Group LLC-
Posted by: RET Staff
Owning a home for the first time can be scary. With that new set of keys comes concerns about property upkeep that former renters have never had to worry about before.
If you sense anxiety from first-time buyers that you work with, direct them to the following apps. They ease the apprehension by helping new homeowners understand how their home works and offering actionable steps for keeping up with critical maintenance tasks.
Today's generation of first-time buyers is more eco-conscious than their predecessors. Homeselfe is an energy management app that helps homeowners understand their home's weak points for energy efficiency and how they can lower their energy bills.
Homeselfe does this by walking users through a digital representation of their home and asking questions about energy efficient features in each room. The questions cover topics like the type of insulation, location of ducts, whether certain appliances are Energy Star certified, if there are aerators on the faucets, etc.
Once your client has answered all the questions, Homeselfe generates a report that lists areas where energy efficiency could be improved, and how much the homeowners can save on utility bills if they upgraded to a more energy efficient option. The report also shows available rebates for upgrading. In my area, for example, Homeselfe tells me that my power company, PG&E, offers up to $700 in rebates for upgrading to an energy efficient water heater.
Tip: This app is handy for your seller clients, too. Use the app to help identify areas where energy efficiency could be improved before listing. Or, if the home scores well, mention those strengths in the listing description--the lower utility bills that come with energy efficiency is a definite draw!
Sometimes called the "CARFAX of real estate," HomeZada helps owners keep track of home maintenance schedules, important documents, an asset inventory for insurance purposes, home improvement projects, and more. Think of it as a digital home management platform that your clients can use to care for their biggest asset--their house.
Some agents use HomeZada as a closing gift for their young, tech-savvy clients. You can learn more about this in our product review.
This app helps homeowners keep their house organized, cleaned, and well maintained. BrightNest offers a personalized schedule with reminders for keeping a home in tip-top shape. In addition, the app has a vast library of articles on DIY projects, home design, maintenance and more so first-time owners can learn how their home works.
While these apps are ideal for first-time homeowners, they're an informative resource for experienced owners, too. So feel free to share this list with your whole sphere. It's a great addition to your blog, email newsletter, and social media streams.