Home Buying 101: What to Know if You’re New to Buying Real Estate (Part 1 of 2)

If you’re new to real estate or even new to a market, there are some important things to keep in mind as you embark on a new home buying adventure. In this post, we’ll break down some of those helpful things to remember.


Finances first

Before you can even begin to get serious about buying a home, you have to take a hard look at your finances and understand your realistic monthly budget. More than just the mortgage payment, other hidden costs[link to previous blog about hidden costs of homeownership] can quickly make that mortgage payment a lot more than you may initially think.


The rule of thumb for getting pre-qualified for a mortgage is that your monthly mortgage payment, property taxes, and home insurance can’t add up to more than 31% of your income and all debt (including credit cards, car loans etc) can’t add up to more than 43% of your income.


That being said, determine how much you are comfortable affording and be sure to account for those routine and often unexpected costs that come along with owning a house. Then, once you know that you can go to a mortgage broker and get pre qualified for a mortgage for that value. This is an essential step and needs to be done in order to make an offer on a home.


Do your homework

Drive around neighborhoods you’re interested in, get a feel for the community, learn about local schools, stores and restaurants, and calculate your work commute from a potential new area. Then dig in to learning about the specific housing market for the area – is it affordable for you and how in demand are the properties? You can save yourself a lot of time by doing some upfront research –or getting a good realtor that already knows the area. You may even end up ruling out a neighborhood you initially thought you’d like after learning about other options.


Find the right real estate agent

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so you want someone on your side that you can trust and who will be a good fit for you and your personality. There are plenty of myths circulating about real estate agents, but the right agent for you is one who can help move you forward with your decisions and help navigate a challenging industry and market, all while keeping your interests and priorities at the forefront.


If you’re new to the Miami real estate market or buying your first home, give me a call at 305-329-7744 to get started on this big and exciting step, and be on the lookout for part 2 of this blog series, “Home Selling 101.