Looking to own your first home but not sure where to start? We have put together a short first time home buyer guide to help you with some of the critical decisions you will need to make.

  1. Assess your financial situation: do you know how much it is going to cost you to buy your new home? If you have been renting for a while, you may not be aware of some of the costs that are associated with home ownership.

Take a good look over your current budget to see how much you can afford to invest. While looking at your current budget, be sure to include the anticipated costs that will come with your new home. With a clear budget in hand, you can narrow down your choices and be focused on homes within a comfortable price range.

  1. Get your mortgage pre-approved: With a budget in mind, you can approach the bank to determine how much they are willing to give you to purchase your home. A pre-approval will give sellers confidence that you are a strong prospect to purchase their property and increase your ability to compete with others on the market.
  1. Hire a good realtor: You will need someone to help you find the property that is just right for you. Real estate agents are trained to understand the in’s and outs of homebuying. They should be experts in the neighborhoods, property types, financial conditions and generally anything related to buying or selling a home. Ask a friend for a referral or search reputable sites for agents who have great reviews. Having a good agent in the buying process can save you a lot of time, frustration and money.
  1. Begin your house search: This is probably the most exciting part of the home buying process for first time homebuyers. This is the chance for you to let your imagination run wild. Look at a broad range of houses and identify the features that you like the most. Narrow them down based on ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’. Go to as many open houses as your schedule will permit and search until you find the home that ticks all (or most) of the boxes.
  1. Make your best offer: Now it’s time to seal the deal. You’ve found your dream home and you’re ready to buy it. It’s up to you to put in an offer that the buyer can’t refuse. In Milwaukee, there is a strong sellers market, so as a buyer you will need to work closely with your agent to ensure you are well positioned to win over the competition.
  1. Get a good home inspection: Buying a home for the first time does not always mean you are buying a new home. If you choose a home that is older you will want to ensure that you get a thorough property inspection. You will need the expert advice of a professional inspector and it’s important not to skimp on this cost. Failing an inspection can cost you a lot of money and cause great stress in the long term.
  1. Get Homeowners insurance: Insurance is a good investment for any homeowner. Make sure you have a comprehensive policy that covers your contents as well as repairs for damage that is done to your home.
  1. Close your deal and move into your home. Enjoy your new home!