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Washington DC Real Estate Resource Center: First Home Purchase

Researching, choosing, and buying your first home can undoubtedly be a stressful task. Feeling overwhelmed and like you're the only first-time homebuyer around? You're not alone. The National Association of Realtors estimates that about 40 percent of existing homes are purchased by first-time homebuyers every year.

As overwhelming as the process can be, there are several advantages to owning a home. Homeowners build equity over time can benefit from tax advantage of the deductibility of the interest portion of your mortgage payment. Upgrades to your home add value.

Follow These Tips to Prepare for Your Purchase

Often the most daunting task of choosing your first home is getting started. Decide if you're ready to take the homeowners plunge and prepare for buying your property by following these steps:

  • Make sure you're mentally prepared for the responsibility that comes with owning a home. Know that you have to budget by having a reserve for normal maintenance issues that will arise.
  • See what you can afford and consult a mortgage calculator to see what your payment would be.
  • Figure out what your total monthly housing cost would be, including taxes and homeowners insurance. To get an idea of insurance costs, pick a property in the area you're interested in and call a local insurance agent for an estimate.
  • Consider how much you'll likely pay in closing costs, which includes origination feeds charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes, and prepaid items such as homeowners association fees or homeowners insurance. Make sure you have enough money set aside for a down payment.
  • Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area and match those figures to your budget.
  • List the basic needs you'll need in your first home, such as minimum number of bedrooms needed, square footage desired, proximity to schools and work, etc. Make a second list of things that would be nice to have, such as a bigger garage, pool, etc.
  • Check your credit and your debt. Obtain a copy of your credit report and make sure your credit history is in order.
  • Research! Search online for home in your area and do drive-arounds in those areas to make sure your needs, both budgetary and physically, can be met in that area.

Finally, know that expert licensed realtor Michelle Buckman is here to help. Michelle represents W.C. & A.N. Miller and Christie's Great Estates properties in Chevy Chase, Northwest Washington DC, Capitol Hill and the Trinidad neighborhood in Washington DC. Specializing in the sale and resale of single family homes and estates, condos, co-ops, and multi-unit buildings, Michelle works with a full range of clients, notably first-time homebuyers.

Copyright © Michelle Buckman Real Estate

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Michelle Buckman Real Estate

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