5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers - Team Lassen

5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers


Buying a new home is nerve-racking to say the least. But buying your first home? That venture proves especially stressful for most because of the many uncertainties and financial variables at play. From your budget, to location, to mortgage options and insurance; there are a lot of things to consider. Team Lassen is here to help!

1: Set a firm budget.

First, you need to assess how much you can realistically afford. While we all have the perfect dream home in mind, it is important to know that this may not be an achievable goal on your first go. 

It’s imperative to set a sensible budget, and you should start with your down payment. 

Why? A down payment can prevent you from paying expensive mortgage insurance in addition to a high house payment and homeowners insurance policy. It’s important to also be mindful of those additional closing costs and of course, be sure to get a lending rate quote from more than one source.

2: Research all of your mortgage options.

Each mortgage option out there has its pros and cons. Here are several to consider.

  • Conventional mortgages: a home loan that isn’t insured by the federal government. These typically require down payments of at least 3%. If you are a borrower who can put at least 20% down, you typically do not have to pay for mortgage insurance (which is normally required by FHA loans).

  • FHA loans: easier to qualify for than conventional mortgages, an FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the FHA (Federal Housing Administration), and requires a credit score of 580 or higher, and a down payment as low as 3.5%. 

  • VA loans: are only obtainable to current and veteran service members. A VA loan requires no minimum credit score, although most lenders ask for a score of at least 580. 

3: Make a short list of non-negotiables.

Remember, you’re buying a home for the future. Whether you need a 3-bedroom home to grow into, or a location that is a short commute to work, a neighborhood that is quiet or in a good school district - must-haves to keep in mind are location, neighborhood and space.

This purchase is ultimately an investment.

Be sure you do your research! Being in a great school district, crime statistics, the nearest hospital, traffic and noise - these are all variables that may affect your investment when it is time to sell.

Don’t get hung up on the small stuff.

You can replace decorative details such as cabinets, flooring, wall color, etc. The key items to keep in mind when buying your first home are location, the neighborhood and space.

4: Take advantage of open houses!

Don’t miss an opportunity to practice your home-buying skills. Ask a lot of questions about the home (such as when it was built, how old are the air conditioning and heating units, does the home have new windows, which items were the most recently replaced). Pay close attention to the overall condition of the home, the smells and structural features. By doing so, you can avoid making a purchase you may regret.

5: Work with an experienced real estate team who knows the area and the market.

If you’re looking to buy a home along the front range, no one knows the market and area better than Team Lassen. Offering professional services, from Ft. Collins to Castle Rock and everywhere in between since 1999, Team Lassen promises to deliver experience, energy, enthusiasm and dedication to all of their clients!

Looking to find your first home along the Front Range? Give us a call today.