If you’re ready to buy a home and it’s your first one, it can be an exhilarating and exhausting process as you reach this milestone in your life. Here’s what you need to know as a first-time homebuyer.

Tip #1: You need a great REALTOR®.

You need a real estate professional who understands precisely what you’re looking for and what’s especially important is you get along with them. You’ll be spending a lot of time working with your REALTOR®, so you want to make sure it’s an agent (or team) who is good at their job and also good company. To find an agent to suit your needs, read reviews, and asking friends and family for recommendations is a great start. We invite you to read our testimonials here.

We’re in a seller’s market now, so houses are flying off the market, which is why you need a great REALTOR®! A great real estate agent will have experience working in this specific market and be responsive. You’ll be less stressed if you trust that your REALTOR® will do everything in their power to get you a home. As your real estate professionals, we can help you find, negotiate, and buy your dream home. 

Tip #2: You need to set financial limits.

According to the Kerrville Board of REALTORS® June statistics, there are only 2.3 months of inventory on the market. A balanced real estate market has 6 months’ worth of inventory. Because inventory is so low right now, buyers are competing with each other causing housing prices to increase drastically. Don’t get buyer remorse by purchasing a house you can’t afford. 

Before you start looking at homes, assess your finances. What’s your credit score? How much can you put down for a down payment? Do you have money saved up for additional fees like maintenance, closing costs, repairs, etc.? Look into getting pre-approved by a mortgage lender to learn how much you can borrow. But remember, just because you can borrow that much doesn’t mean you should. You should have an estimate in mind of how much you want to pay in total and how much your mortgage should be monthly. 

The median home sales price is around $340,000 in the Kerrville area. It’s a large increase compared to June 2020’s median price of $264,450. Because houses are for selling for a lot more, a good rule of thumb is to look at homes 5 % to 10% below your max budget, so there’s room for negotiation if needed. 

Tip #3: Be ready to move fast.

Houses are selling and closing quickly, so you and your REALTOR® need to move fast when buying in this market! It’s also essential that your mortgage lender is on the same page and understands the importance of being responsive and efficient. You might need a pre-approval letter at a moment’s notice, so you need a lender who can provide that for you. Sometimes there’s no time to attend the open house and put in an offer. Many homebuyers buy houses unseen, and you might have to, too, if it’s your dream house. If you need an explanation of the homebuyer process, contact us! 

Tip #4: Be ready to walk away.

We just advised you to be ready to move fast, so this next nugget of advice may seem counterintuitive, but hear us out. When houses sell this quickly like they are now, sometimes the wiser decision is to walk away. This is especially true if the house is out of your price range or if there’s apparent or expensive damage. Don’t lower your standards and pretend you like a house when you don’t. Stick to the goals you set at the beginning of the homebuying journey.

Tip #5: Your opinion matters most.

When you start the homebuying journey or with a significant other, you can easily be overwhelmed by others advice, wishes, and opinions from prices to styles to location. While your friends and families have good intentions, at the end of the day, this is the place you will call home for the next couple of years, and you know your needs best! The homebuyer journey should be fun and exciting, so don’t get overwhelmed with unsolicited and negative feedback.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer this summer, reach out to us! We’d be honored to help you on your first-time home buying journey.