The 3 most important steps NOT to skip when buying your first home

How to find the perfect home for you and your budget series! I’m so glad you’re here. This series will help you find the right home that won’t go over what you want to spend on a monthly mortgage (which may be lower than the amount that you are pre-approved for!) You’ll learn all about what to look for in a home to make sure it matches you need, lifestyle and budget, and be able to avoid buyers remorse along the way.

There is a specific process behind buying your first home. It is something you only do once, and (if done correctly) can set you up on a path to success in real estate. Your first home can help catapult you into your next home, and eventually your dream home. This is not a process that should be rushed. Make sure that each step you take is well thought out and taken very seriously… and I’m here to help you do just that!

  1. Make sure that you are truly ready to become a homeowner!

Being a renter is HARD… but being a homeowner comes with its own set of challenges as well. Home maintenance is now on your plate to take care of. (Don’t worry, I’ll send you a home maintenance checklist at the beginning of each season). Finding the right home for you and your budget can be a long, frustrating process. First and foremost, make the conscious decision that that becoming a homeowner IS right for you. If you are deciding between renting vs. buying a good rule of thumb for this is if you plan to be in the home for more than 2 years, you are typically in a better financial position if you own instead of rent (in Utah along the Wasatch Front).

Do not jump into looking at homes first. There are a few steps we need to cross off before we are ready to look at homes. Looking at homes first could potentially set yourself up for heartbreak, if the home you see is one you fall in love with, because you are not ready to put an offer in at this point. We need to first meet, talk about your options and the process of buying a home, and then we need to go through the steps to get pre-approved… THEN you are ready to start the fun part — looking at homes!

2. Find an agent to walk you through the process

Theres a lot more that happens in a real estate transaction than many people realize. It is important to have someone on your team making sure that you meet all of your deadlines and contingencies.

Before you pick your agent, talk with friends and family that have recently done real estate transactions similar to the price range and location you are looking in. (If you are a first time home buyer, do not hire a luxury agent, they will not be up-to-date on the current market in your price range, and vice versa)

Our area has a  lot of great agents to choose from. And that’s actually a good thing!  But it can make it difficult and overwhelming to choose whom to work with to help you buy your first home.

Here are a few things to look for in an agent:

•  Do they specialize in the type of

home and area you are looking for?

•  Since you are a first-time buyer, are they familiar with the first time home buyer programs that you might qualify for that will make your first home more affordable?

•  What is the average price range of the home they help clients buy?

•  Do you feel comfortable sharing personal details with them?

•  Are they willing to take the time to listen to you in order to help you realize your needs and wants in a home or are they too quick to show you homes you might not even be interested in or know you can afford?

•  Are they willing to work within the timetable you’ve sent to find a home, not push you to buy something sooner than you are ready?

•  Do they know the areas you are considering buying inside and out?

•  Are they willing to be a resource for you even after you purchased your home to support your being a homeowner for the first time?

Like anything in life, it’s best to talk to a few different agents to make sure it’s the best fit for both of you.  I’d be honored to be one of the agents you talk to when you are ready for this step.  I can give you my answers to the questions above and we can see if we are the right fit for each other.  If I’m not the best agent for you, I’ll be the first to tell you (so not to waste your time or mine) and I’d be happy to connect you with one of my colleagues who might be a better fit.

3. Don’t “jump the gun”

Slow down and take your time when looking for a home. Sometimes, we spend so much time thinking about something that we want, that when we make the conscious decision to go for it we want it NOW. Don’t do this. Make sure to slow down and walk through each step of the home buying process.

So many of my clients get excited they are finally at the point where they are ready to buy a home and they want to rush into buying a home quickly now that they are at this point.

Don’t rush the process.

Think of each outing as one step closer in the process of finding the home that’s perfect for you.  I like to think of our outings like the rings of a tree—on our first outing we are in the widest ring.We start by casting a wide net and see what’s out there and how you feel about the options.  Then, based on your feedback, the next outing, we pull things in closer a little.  Then, every outing, we move inward even more.  We are seeing fewer homes, but moving closer to the middle—to YOUR home.  Each outing together will feel like we are getting closer until we find the perfect home for you.

Be willing to take time to find the “one” by going through the process, cast a wide net at first with each outing moving us closer to the right decision for you.  I’ll be asking you many questions along the way so you don’t settle for a home that’s less than exactly what you want.

It’ll be worth the wait… I promise.

Congratuatlions! You’re already a few steps ahead of most buyers.

Don’t miss next week’s article in my Find the Perfect Home for You and Your Budget series, which will be all about financing your first home!

What You Need To Know Before Buying Your First Home

Hi, there!

I'm McCall Carter and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true. 

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2901 Ashton Blvd. #102 
Lehi, UT 84043


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Hi, there!

I'm McCall Carter and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true. 

schedule your free consultation


My Listings


All Articles