March 13, 2022

Answer these five questions before looking for your first home

Every day we are faced with decisions like what to eat for dinner. When to buy your first home though is a decision that impacts our lives more and takes a little more time. While you probably don’t need help choosing what to eat for dinner every day, you can get help with your homebuying decision. A San Antonio area REALTOR® can explain what it takes to buy your first home, but answering these five questions can help you get started:

1. Am I staying here? If you are considering moving to a different city soon, it may be better to keep renting. Buying and selling a home in such a short period of time can be time consuming and often doesn’t make financial sense. If you are ready to put down roots though, buying a home might be a smart investment.

2. Where do I want to live? Is there a specific neighborhood you want to live in? Is there a certain school district you want your kids to be in? Before you purchase your first home is the perfect time to visit different neighborhoods and see if there is another area you might be interested in living. You can ask your San Antonio area REALTOR® for information about different areas of town.

3. What kind of property do I want? It’s possible that you’ve lived in several kinds of properties like apartments, townhomes, or single-family homes. Consider what you liked or disliked about each. Would you take advantage of the amenities offered by a condominium? Are you looking for a big backyard for your pets or kids? Even if you don’t have experience living in different kinds of properties, you can ask your San Antonio area REALTOR® for more information on what each may have to offer.

4. Do I have enough money for a down payment? Most conventional loans require a down payment. Many homebuyers place a down payment of 10% to 20% of the purchase price. For a $250,000 home, that’s $25,000 to $50,000 in cash. Having enough money for a down payment usually means better loan terms and a lower interest rate on your mortgage loan. That adds up to long-term savings.

Government-backed loans, insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Veterans Administration (VA), are great for first-time buyers and often require 3.5% or less as a down payment. Your REALTOR® can recommend how much you might want for a down payment and let you know if there are homebuyer-assistance programs you might qualify for.

5. Can I afford the cost of owning a home? There’s more to owning a home than paying a mortgage. You’ll want to consider property taxes, maintenance costs, and possibly renovations. The cost of home maintenance and repairs is usually one of the biggest surprises for new homeowners who may be used to a landlord fixing issues. When you're creating your homebuying budget, include the cost of regular home maintenance and unanticipated problems. Your REALTOR® can help you estimate those figures.

There are many steps you must take to buy your first home. A REALTOR® can help you through every step including helping you get to the closing table when you’re ready.

For more information on buying, selling, or renting visit and find a San Antonio area REALTOR® today.