Are you a first-time home buyer in colorado? Confused and looking for some tips? Check out our guide to get the process done smoothly!
There are certain elements within the grandparent age demographic that love to talk about the good old days, when a two-story family home could be purchased at seventeen, with little more than paper route pocket change and a firm handshake. It is debatable whether those days existed anywhere outside the imagination of the elderly…but even if they did, it’s clear that this era is long gone.
Today, the average age of first-time homebuyers in the United States is around 45. Across the country, families are delaying this milestone and choosing to approach this stressful process from a more informed, financially stable starting point.
Expert tips for a first-time home Buyer in Colorado
Here’s an expertly curated list of five crucial tips to help make your first-time purchasing journey go as smooth as possible.
Create a realistic budget (and stick to it!)
The first step to finding your dream home is understanding your price range, and the first step to identifying your range is by understanding what kind of mortgage you qualify for. As a starting point, this Colorado Mortgage Calculator will help give you a rough idea of where you stand. A mortgage calculator is a great tool for determining the maximum monthly payment you can afford with a down payment and 30-year-mortgage.
Of course, your monthly mortgage payment is not the only factor to consider when setting a budget. You also want to look at maintenance costs, PITI base payment, HOA dues, and so on, as well as your lifestyle costs and other key factors.
If you are at a loss when it comes to setting a budget, there are loan officers at the bank that can help you find a ballpark figure.
Identify your ‘must-haves’ and create a shortlist
One of the most important things to do when house shopping is separating the features that you’d like, vs the features that you can’t live without. A pool might make the ‘must-have’ list in Los Angeles, but here in Colorado, is it worth narrowing down your options?
Maybe you’d prefer a large family room or a wood-burning fireplace? Maybe you’d rather be in a particular neighborhood, or far away from a busy street?
By creating a separate list of must-haves, you give your realtor something to work with, making it easier to line up relevant open houses in your desired area. It is also a good idea to rank this shortlist, just in case you need to prioritize certain features.
Work with a trusted, local realtor who knows the Area
Purchasing a home is a huge decision, and it makes very little sense to allow someone you don’t trust to help you navigate the process. Most people don’t even let people they don’t trust cut their hair! By working with an experienced, trusted realtor, you can reduce stress and boost efficiency.
There are plenty of reviews posted to sites like Zillow and REColorado, but one of the best ways to find a realtor is through referral. Fifty-four percent of buyers found their agent from a personal referral or previous working relationship, so ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations.
Realtors that know the local market are valuable in their own right, but they are also useful for connecting to other real estate professionals that can help you, including loan officers.
Ask about closing costs ASAP
Closing costs, which typically include the costs of establishing your escrow accounts and other lender fees and don’t cover your personal packing and moving costs, can vary widely from lender to lender.
Rather than leaving things to chance, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your lender as soon as possible to avoid unplanned payments.
In some cases, you can negotiate ways to offset these closing costs, but this is only possible if you know what they are in advance.
Hopefully, the above tips help ensure that your first-time homebuyer in colorado’s first-time home buying experience is a relatively smooth ride. As always, feel free to reach out anytime with questions.
If you’ve had any luck buying in the Colorado market recently let us know in the comments below. Thanks!