Advice For First-Time Home Buyers in Louisville, KY

If you are a first-time home buyer, here's a quick guide filled helpful tips and home buying advice, as well as information on what to avoid when buying your first home in Louisville, KY.

  • What is Pre-Qualification? Talking with a mortgage broker or lender to find out how much you can afford to pay for your new home.
  • What is Pre-Approval? Finding out how much you can afford is the first step you need to complete before your agent takes you out to look at homes, With Pre-Approval, you will actually be applying for a mortgage and receive a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
  • Checklist of Needs and Wants: Always make two lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house or patio home if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes - things you would like to have (a neighborhood pool, a home office, a fenced yard, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are need the most.
  • Representation by a Professional Realtor: Commit to hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.
  • Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
    1. Detailed maps with your favorite areas highlighted.
    2. Keep a list of the properties that your agent has shown to you.
    3. Pen and paper for taking lots of notes as you tour each home.
    4. Use your cell phone's camera to take pictures of homes you have toured to help you remember your favories and the features you liked.
  • Try to visualize the home being empty, and filled with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Are the rooms bright enough to suit your tastes?
  • Always Remain Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are usually many houses on the market to choose from, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
  • Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:
    1. Include home inspection, financing, and appraisal contingencies in your written offer.
    2. Have the property inspected by professionals.
    3. Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing, preferably an hour before.
    4. During the final walk-through you will want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light, or missing appliances). You will also need to verify that any repairs requested during the inspection period have been completed, and that the sellers have completely moved out, unless delayed possession was agreed upon in the contract.

All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That's normal, but that's also why having a professional realtor with East Louisville Realty represent you! Keeping track of all the details for you is their duty to you. If you're ready to get started, contact us directly at 502-821-3062 and let's go shopping for your new home!