You will be faced with many decisions throughout the process of buying your first home. These decisions can feel overwhelming but there’s good news; an experienced Real Estate agent at Dash Realty can help you navigate the first-time home buying process. To help get you started, we are answering some of the frequently asked questions we receive.

Q: How much do Real Estate Agents charge?

A: Generally, you won’t pay an agent to find you a home. A home seller pays their real estate agent a percentage of the sale price to their agent. He/she then pays the buyer’s agent.

Q: What should my down payment be?

A: Depending on the type of loan, most lenders will require a minimum of 3.5%. Your credit score, type of property and other factors will determine how much you are required to put down which could be much higher.

Q: How will my taxes be affected?

A: Buying a home will give you many tax benefits. Property taxes, mortgage interest, home equity loan interest and lines of credit can be deducted. We recommend working with a tax professional, especially if you are unfamiliar with itemizing deductions.

Q: Should I talk to a bank before looking at homes?

A: Yes. We strongly recommend getting pre-approved before looking at homes. Also, there are many first-time buyer programs available that you can learn about through a qualified mortgage lender.

Q: Do I really need a Realtor?

A: We strongly recommend using a qualified Realtor who can represent your best interests when buying a home. The buying process proves to be much more difficulty without an experienced agent at your side.

Q: What is a foreclosure?

A: A foreclosure, also referred to as a REO is a property owned by a lender. Most foreclosures are sold “as is.”

Q: Is the area safe?

A: Real Estate professionals can give you tips on how to research neighborhoods but due to the Fair Housing Act, an agent cannot answer questions regarding crime statistics.

Q: What will my utility bills be?

A: This is a great question to think about ahead of a first home purchase. It is important to know additional costs outside of the mortgage payment. Utility bills can usually be obtained from the home-owner and in some cases from the utility company for the past 12 months. Occupants may differ in their preferred home temperature; therefore, you cannot know the exact costs but you can still get a ballpark idea.

Q: How many homes should I look at before putting in an offer?

A: There is no “right” answer to this question. You may fall in love with the first home you see or you may need to tour 30 homes before you find the perfect fit.

Here at Dash Realty, we love helping our clients and that includes first-time home buyers. Stay tuned for part two of our frequently asked questions.