First-time home buyer? What do you want to know

Buying a new home, especially in this market, can be overwhelming to say the least. But, with the help of my proven tips below, the process can go more smoothly and you can feel more confident about that important purchase.

1. Talk to multiple mortgage lenders

Each offers different prices, products and services. One size does not fit all. Get pre-qualified and know what your budget is.

2. Choose the right real estate professional

Buying your first home is a big investment. Ideally, work with a real estate agent who lives in the area or who knows the area very well. A real estate agent must be someone you can trust, who understands your needs, works and defends your interests.

Ask about their experience and references so you know they have a good track record and reputation. Ask friends who have moved to the area who helped them and if they would recommend them. I am personally in contact with all of my former buyer clients and am confident that they would all recommend me to their friends and family because of the professional representation they have received.

3. Pick a reasonable city/area and focus there

4. There is no perfect house (unless you have an unlimited budget)

But there are usually trade-offs like location, condition, size, landscape.

5. Keep an open mind

Often I work with buyers who have a very specific idea of ​​what they want but sometimes, especially when stocks are low, if I show them other alternative options, they realize that one works for them too. I had several clients who purchased the “wild card” listing which I added to the homes we viewed. Because I knew the inventory so well, I was able to suggest them based on how they reacted to the other houses I showed them.

6. If you can find out, ask the sellers what they liked about living there

You might discover other interesting aspects of the house that are not easily seen in a single visit or through the MLS listing and photos. For example, maybe you’re buying in the summer and didn’t know the hill across the street is the #1 toboggan run in town and you (or your kids!) would like that. Or that in winter, when the leaves fall, you see the ocean.

7. Find out about running costs

Mortgage calculators only calculate the PITI payment (principle, interest, taxes, insurance). On top of that there will be utilities, lawn care, trash removal, snow removal, landscaping, possibly a car to run, etc. Everything adds up. You want to own your home and enjoy life — you don’t want the house to be yours.

8. Consider buying a home warranty

As first-time home buyers, there’s a lot to think about in terms of how a home works. If your home isn’t new and you aren’t able to do a full home inspection or the items are older, sometimes it’s a good investment to have a home warranty just in case. where expensive systems or devices would have problems or break down.

9. If you’re going to work…

Try it when you would, or see where the amenities you’ll be using compare to your home and if it suits what you need.

10. If possible, visit the house several times at different times of the day

Or drive during a busy time and see what the traffic looks like.

11. I’ve been a Fairfield County realtor for over a decade…

But before, when I was selling real estate in New York, I would often show an apartment in the morning and afternoon to see how the light changes, because it can make a big difference in a tall building. You may also want to see how lighting changes the mood of a home at different times of the day.

12. It’s a big deal…

Don’t take out a loan to buy a car or furniture before the loan for your home is closed! This can skew your debt ratio and be problematic at closing.

13. Remember: your first home doesn’t have to be your forever home.

People change, life gets busy or less busy, fortunes change, and the needs of people in their homes change. It’s hard to look at the last 7-10 years at once. So find a home you love that will get you through this time and don’t forget to call me when you’re ready for your second home!

I hope these insider tips for becoming a first-time home buyer have helped or will help you on your home buying journey. Be sure to bookmark this page for future reference – and to see our current listings, visit

Jessica Brookbanks is a Sales Associate with the Bross Chingas Bross team at Coldwell Banker. Bross Chingas Bross was #1 in Weston and Westport Home Sales, 2013-2022 YTD. The team ranked #33 in the United States, among all realtor teams of all brokerage firms according to The Wall Street Journal, and #7 within Coldwell Banker globally, where it is recognized as an international team of excellence.

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