You’re getting ready to buy your first house but you have no idea what you don’t know. You’ve done some research, surfed online, saved some funds, asked around, talked about it, got excited, and now you’re on the cusp of just doing it. Here are some tips you might find useful about buying your first house.

Money, Honey

When you’re calculating the down payment you’ll need to buy your first house, don’t forget to calculate closing costs. Closing costs is a term that encompasses the service fees of providers such as inspectors, appraisers, escrow agents, real estate agents, lenders, and other professionals associated with real estate transactions.

You can estimate closing costs to be between one percent and eight percent of the total value of the home you’re purchasing, so add that extra eight percent to your home savings. You’ll also need to pay for homeowners insurance, property taxes, possibly homeowner’s association fees, and other moving expenses. To avoid being house poor, don’t over-extend.

Etiquette, Manners, and Reality-Checks

Be mindful of your word choices when you’re touring homes and sharing your options. You don’t have to use words like: dreadful, horrid, atrocious, awful, ugly, tacky, etc. You never know when the owner might be in ear shot or when there may be a recording in progress. There’s no need to offend anyone or risk your chances of having an offer denied because you spoke out of turn.

Real estate transactions are known for their flexibility in negotiations, but that doesn’t mean you should be insulting to your agent, the seller, or the seller’s agent by demanding unrealistic or insulting offers.

Also, as a buyer, your real estate agent does not work for you. Your agent is compensated by the seller’s real estate agent for assisting with the transaction. So don’t bark orders at your real estate agent as though they’re an employee answering to your demands.

Keeping Your Heart in Check

Do not emotionally attach to any part of the house buying experience. Buying real estate can feel like an emotional roller coaster. When you find a house you like enough to consider putting in an offer, make sure you recognize the business transaction moreover than the daydreams of cooking supper in that kitchen. Anything can happen between the moment you see a house for the first time, and the moment you try to buy. The seller may not accept your offer. A competing offer may beat you out. The inspection may reveal insurmountable problems. It’s okay to be excited about the possibilities, but know that until you have the key in your and, anything can happen with a property to prevent its sale.

Ask What Comes with Each Home You Tour

Real estate transactions can be misleading because you don’t always get what you thought you’d get when you buy a house. For example, window coverings, above ground pools or hot tubs, or even light covers can be removed by the seller as personal property. If you’re not sure what comes with the house, ask your agent – and if the agent isn’t sure, let the agent ask the seller’s agent for clarification. The same is true with appliances, “does THIS stove come with the house?” A house advertised as including a stove may not include the same stove on move-in as it did on viewing day. However, if you verify by model number and other identifying factors, you’ll get what you bargained for when you move in.

Don’t Let the Staging Fool You

Sellers intentionally arrange their homes in appealing ways when showing the houses for sale. They’ve eliminated belongings, cleaned, decorated, organized, and in some cases may have even baked cookies. Houses are “staged” to look their best. But that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. Look under sinks for leaks. Listen for a running toilet, look for drippy pipes. Check the ceilings, walls, and corners for stress cracks or damage to the foundation of the structure. Check the ground for tree roots, cracked cement, soft soil, signs of critters.


Buying your starter home should be an exciting adventure that has you anticipating all of the possibilities. But allow room for naivety; you’ve never bought a home before. Ask others who have recently purchased their first home what tips they’d offer to first time home buyers.

Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give the Becky Meyer Group a call today at 402-960-9273 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.

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