A Must-Have Checklist for First-Time Buyers in Boston

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Buying a house for the first time can be a surprisingly complicated process. As such, people who get into it without preparing themselves can easily get overwhelmed and make mistakes. This can lead to problems and frustration. Doing some research beforehand is vital to your success. That is especially important for cities like Boston, that have property values that are much higher than the national average. To help you out, here’s a must-have checklist for first-time buyers in Boston, courtesy of Mary Aspen Richardson.

Look into getting a mortgage and prepare financially

The most important entry on the checklist for first-time buyers in Boston is being sure that you can get a mortgage. Getting the best rate and terms can be complicated, so research is very much needed. First, contact a lender to determine if you can afford a mortgage and what to expect. Then start preparing your finances; get your credit score increased, as you’ll typically need a score of at least 620 to get a mortgage. Try to pay off your current debt, as the debt-to-income ratio is also essential. Finally, ensure you have the money needed for a down payment, which can vary from 3.5% to 20% of the total mortgage. Also, make sure you know how to organize a smooth move to the big city—moving to a city as big as Boston can be difficult if you don’t prepare.

Explore every mortgage option before deciding on one

There are many mortgage options for first-time buyers in Boston, all of which have their benefits. That said, your exact possibilities depend on your financial situation. Still, doing thorough research into all of your options is encouraged. Having less than a 20% downpayment may necessitate additional insurances or fees that will make your loan more expensive in the long run.

Additionally, there are first-time homebuyer programs that can help out quite a bit. Be sure to look into every possible option before making a decision. And, remember to think ahead about the move and moving costs. Especially if you’re moving to Boston long-distance, you’ll want to hire a team to help you get here safely, so be sure to include that in your budget.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage before looking for a house

Locking down a house is very important in competitive cities like Boston, as home sell quickly. Most sellers will not consider accepting an offer from a person who can not prove that they can afford the home so getting pre-approved for a mortgage is vital for first-time buyers. Additionally, by getting pre-approved, you can figure out your buying power. That means you’ll know the exact price range for the homes you can afford. All in all, this can narrow down the house hunt quite a bit and help you find a home faster.

Additionally, consider the benefits of a pre-move checklist for planning your move. After all, planning a move can be very stressful if you’re not prepared for it. So, having a checklist to help out can be very beneficial overall.

Start your house hunt

Once a budget is prepared and pre-approved, you can search for your new home. Consider hiring a real estate agent to help you out, as most agents have more resources and experience and will save you time, trouble and money. Figure out your must-haves and non-negotiables regarding amenities and house features, to help you narrow down the search.

Make an offer and schedule a home inspection

When you find a home you like, it’s time to make an offer. This can be challenging because you want to make an offer that doesn’t break the bank but is also competitive. Lowballing your price could lead to the seller refusing it while paying too much is, obviously, not a good idea. Hiring a realtor is very helpful, as they can help you figure out the perfect offer. If you don’t want to rely on a realtor, research the local market to figure out what a good offer would be.

Once you find a potential home, always inspect it before buying. A home that seems perfect initially can have all sorts of hidden issues, so an inspection is vital. The last thing you want is to move into your new home and realize you must spend a fortune fixing it. Also, dealing with home inspection issues can be difficult, so prepare. In some cases, it may be better to look for a different home than to deal with problems.

If you want to be able to cancel the sale if something negative is uncovered during the home inspection, your offer must include a Home Inspection Contingency. This will spell out exactly what you will and won’t accept. For example, it could say: if there is a problem that will cost more than $5,000 to fix, I want to cancel the sale. Without this contingency, you could lose your deposit if you don’t buy the home.

Closing day

When the happy day arrives that you will sign the documents that give you ownership of the home, be sure to bring everything you need for the closing process. That includes government-issued identification, loan documents, homeowner’s insurance proof, and money for the down payment and closing costs. Check with your closing attorney or title company and your real estate agent to make sure you’ve thought of everything.

A must-have checklist for first-time buyers in Boston – wrap up

Buying a home for the first time can be complicated and intimidating for most people. However, with some research and a checklist, you can simplify the process. Additionally, getting help from professional real estate agents is encouraged. Since the real estate agent is paid by the seller’s agent, there is generally no cost to you.. That said, you can get through the process on your own with enough research. Preparation is key when it comes to buying your home (especially for the first time). So, take your time and make sure you’re not doing anything wrong, and you’ll be fine. We hope this must-have checklist for first-time buyers in Boston helps you out, and we wish you a good day.

KW: first-time buyers in Boston

Meta: Buying a house for the first time? Read this must-have checklist for first-time buyers in Boston now and prepare yourself!

Photos used: https://www.pexels.com/photo/architectural-photography-of-red-and-brown-house-3397975/

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