Buying your first home is a major decision and an exciting milestone. Even though it can feel daunting at times, it has the power to change your life for the better. If you're looking to purchase your first home, you may be wondering what's happening in the housing market today, how much you need to save, and where to start.Hey, it's Andy Mandel with the Mandel Team at RE/MAX. And in this video, I'm gonna give you the three tips that I'd recommend for first time home buyers.

Number one, consider a fixer-upper. Today, there are still more buyers in the market than there are homes available for sale. It's important to have an open mind and consider a home that could use a little cosmetic updating. I'm not suggesting you buy the dilapidated mold box that needs a new roof and isn't livable, but keep your options open for that house that's been very well maintained. Maybe it's that nice old grandma who's been living there for years and hasn't updated since the eighties or nineties. Something where you can slap a coat of paint on it, maybe buy some new appliances, and take care of the other projects over time. It may be a little work to get it where you want, but you'll likely update it to your unique style and save money on the purchase price compared to the fully updated move-in ready home.Those homes are selling for a premium.

Tip number two is note that your down payment could be more within reach than you think. Saving for a down payment can feel like one of the biggest obstacles for home buyers, but that doesn't have to be the case. Data from the National Association of Realtors shows that the median down payment hasn't been over 20% since 2005. Take a look at this graph showing the median down payment by age group for recent home buyers. As you can see, the median down payment for all home buyers is only 13%. That's well below the common misconception of 20% and even lower for younger buyers. This could mean you may not need to save as much money for a down payment as you initially thought. Some loan options require as little as 3% down or even 0% down if you're a veteran. While there are advantages to putting down 20%, especially in today's competitive market, know that you have options.To get more information on how much you may need to save and the help that's available, talk with your realtor.

Tip number three is work with your trusted real estate agent throughout the entire process. No matter where you're at in your home ownership journey, the best way to make sure that you're set up for success is to work with a real estate professional. Working with a professional full-time realtor does not cost you anything as a buyer and you have someone on your side to represent your best interests. A good realtor will educate you on the process and connect you with a trusted local lender to get pre-approved. Once you're ready to begin your search, your realtor can make sure you have your thumb on the pulse of the market. And when it's time to make an offer, there'll be an expert advisor and negotiator to help your offer stand out above the rest. Remember, not all agents are created equal.

The bottom line is that knowledge is key to succeeding on your home buying journey. Knowing the market trends, what you need for a down payment, and what options you have as a buyer today can give you the confidence you need to buy a home. Let's connect so you have an expert on your side who can help you navigate the home buying process.

Posted by Andy Mandel on
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