What a First Time Homebuyer Should Look For
So you’ve decided to buy your first home. Now the question is what kind of home is right for you, whether
a single family, townhome, or condominium. This can be a bit of a personal decision to each buyer, but
every first time homebuyer should be aware of some general factors that are true in most situations.
Today’s home buying search usually begins on the Internet. Almost four-fifths of buyers begin their first
query looking at various home ads and photos to get an initial idea of what the market is asking for in
particular areas. Historically, previous buyers would first go to a real estate agent to show them the
various real estate wares for a location.
The Internet today provides dozens and dozens of detailed real estate listings per page, 360 virtual tours
allowing visual/spatial views of a home for sale, and satellite images of neighborhoods which can be used
in relation to other critical locations (job site, schools, supermarkets, etc.). With everything available for
free today on the Net, the educated buyer can enter a real estate agent’s office with specific desires,
down to the street location if necessary.
The Time Length to Find a Home
If working through a real estate agent, a home buyer can probably find a home to target and make an
offer on within probably two to four weeks. In most cases the search happens sooner than later. This is
because agents have adjusted to the volume of information now available to a buyer via computers.
Instead of showing the entire market, the agent will instead focus on specifically what the buyer is looking
for through interviews and forms. Then the agent will pick one to three homes he or she feels fits the bill.
Alternatively, first time homebuyers can look at new developments for their targeted area. Most projects
are identified with general pricing ranges in the Saturday newspaper. The developments will have three to
four models built to show what sites will look like, and the sales agents can provide a general
development map for the area in terms of what the city has approved for overall design. However, first
time Homeowners should be aware that just because a park or school appears on the map doesn’t mean
it will happen. Plans change frequently, and the only firm offer in a development is what you see in a
model. It’s quite common for developments to be set up as a general master plan and then, once the
homes are in and the developer leaves, the local government changes the plan again.
As noted above, the actual number of homes seen via an agent will be few. Agents are quite aware that
people’s short-term memory is very limited and lack of food while traveling will wear down most folks
already stressed about a major financial purchase. Bring a snack with you for a pick-me-up, particularly
with carbohydrates for energy. Assume a visit will take all day so you’re not rushing to meet conflicting
A layman’s guide for the first time home buyer.
Searching for your home