Morganton October 5, 2022


Tips for First time Home Buyers

First time Home Buyers should avoid the following tips

5 Mistakes First-Time Home Buyers should avoid-

Home buying is probably going to be one of your biggest investments, it can be frightening for first-time home buyers to make such a big investment. Being a first-time home buyer can be very stressful. Stress can make the home buying process be emotional. You might make common first-time buyer mistakes if you let those emotions take over. It’s important to control your emotions and make the best decision you can!

Avoid these following mistakes that are very common for many first-time home buyers.

1- Be aware of what you can afford BEFORE you start searching for a home!

This is one of the mistakes a lot of people make. You don’t want to fall in love with homes or features that are out of your budget. It is very important to make a budget and get an idea of what you can afford monthly. You can do that by writing down your total monthly income. You would then deduct your bills from that monthly amount. Things such as utility bills, car payments, gas, taxes you pay, child support payments, groceries and don’t forget those coffees you like to get before work. Anything you spend money on monthly needs to be deducted. What you have left over would be the money you would feel comfortable spending on a home! Pick something in your comfort zone. You do not want to be stressing every month about how you will afford the next payment!  That’s a stress no one wants.   You don’t want that burden, trust us! Visit Mapping Your Future: Start budgeting to read a little more on budgeting for beginners!

Secondly, you will want to get a home loan. You will want to see how much the bank or mortgage company will lend you before you begin your search! Keep in mind you may be approved for an amount you will not be comfortable spending each month. Don’t go over the amount you don’t feel comfortable spending each month, no matter how tempting it is! That’s what makes doing your budget so important. You will be more confident in what you can spend.

This leads into our second mistake on the list, that first time home buyers tend make or not do before home searching- Getting approved.


2- Get Pre-APPROVED!

This needs to be, in my opinion, your second step if you’re a first-time homebuyer. Some homeowners will not even let you view their home unless you have a pre-approval. A pre-approval outlines the amount the lender is prepared to lend the homebuyer.  This pre-approval legitimizes the homebuyer’s offer once they find the home that they want to put an offer in on.

Once a lender pre-approves your loan, they have assessed your financial situation and have determined the price range you can afford. That will help you save time in searching for your home, by making you only focus on properties that are affordable. It will help you avoid falling in love or putting an offer in on a home you cannot afford. A pre-approval can also help you close quicker because the lender will already have a lot of your financial data.

If you already have your budget and you’re ready to take the step of getting pre-approved, I highly recommend the following people.

Jennifer Wright | Sr. Mortgage Banker with Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group® | Morganton, NC 28655

If Jennifer isn’t available, she has other wonderful people in her office who can also help you!


I also highly recommend Joshua McDowell | Work with Churchill Mortgage

Josh is great at helping first-time homebuyers, but he can also help you if you are not a first-time homebuyer!


Once you are pre-approved and have your budget in mind, you will want to do number 3 on our list!

3- Contact a Real Estate Agent you can TRUST.

Don’t think you can buy a home without an agent! First-time homebuyers don’t have full knowledge of the buying process. It will help you tremendously to have an agent on your side, like me, who knows the steps and strategies to help you purchase your fist home. You want someone who will represent you with your best interests in mind. You don’t want to wind up with a dumpster of a home, nor do you want to be taken advantage of!

Agents are knowledgeable of the steps and procedures to owning a home. An agent knows the market trends to help you avoid overpaying. They will also have access to properties that aren’t available to the public right away. In today’s market that can help you when trying to find a home, it’s tough out there!

I am “Your Hometown Real Estate Professional” and I’d love to be your agent! I will walk you through the steps to buy your fist home. I will help you through number 4 on our list as well.

4- Pay attention to your home inspection check list!

Don’t make the same mistake many first-time homebuyers tend to make. You need to be looking at and checking everything you can. You do not want to find out there are a lot of underlying problems in your dream home that will cost you a ton of money to resolve. You will want to conduct a thorough inspection of the home before you put down a down payment or sign a legally binding document.

Make sure you check the foundation of the home. Huge ceiling and wall cracks are signs of a weak foundation. You should keep in mind that ugly damaged wallpaper and cracked paint can be fixed but fixing water damage can cause a financial burden. Sometimes it isn’t hard to fix, but it’s important to discuss these things with your agent! Your agent can help assist you and point you in the next direction to go in.

Make sure you check the homes plumbing, turn on the sinks and showers to make sure they work, and the water pressure is good! You also want to be checking the wiring of the home. You want to turn on lights, fans, ovens, etc when considering putting an offer in on a home. (DON’T FORGET TO TURN THEM BACK OFF!!!!)

Before you consider looking at a home in person, check out the area’s crime statistics. You do not want to make such a big investment in an area you are not satisfied or do not feel safe in! If I don’t have enough time to drive by before looking at a home, I like to look at Google’s street view and see what the neighborhood and surrounding areas look like. I feel like it helps me decide if I should be interested in touring the home or not.


Last but certainly not least,

5-DON’T stress over every little cosmetic issue

This can be a biggie. I was once told don’t mistake a bad looking home for a bad quality home. It’s just like judging a book by its cover, you don’t do it! Most cosmetic issues can get fixable. I know it is easy to get caught up in an aesthetically pleasing home, but it’s important to remember the home you are investing in will not stay the same. You can and will make changes to your future home. If the painting choices the homeowner went with are dark and you favor a home with only lighter colors, know that you can repaint! You can add in new flooring, take out that hideous carpet and wallpaper. You can add a fence to the home, you can even take out a fence. Those issues are changeable. They may require time or money, but those things are livable until you do so. You will want to remember most cosmetic features are usually fashionable and decorative, you will want to change those things as time passes anyways.

You should base your choice on fundamental qualities and the worth of the house, not cosmetic issues. What can be costly to fix, can be a money pit, and may be a deal breaker, are homes with plumbing issues, electrical problems, homes that need a new roof, heating or cooling issues and etc. These are things you should focus on when making the decision if the house you are looking at is right for you. This kind of goes back to issue number 4. I can’t stress enough how important it is to contact an agent you trust. You want someone who is knowledgeable when it comes to such a big investment!

I’d be more than happy to assist you in your home buying process. Contact me, Mark Causby to be your trusted Real Estate Professional.

Image designed by Ashley Scott with ANS Photography.