Congratulations! You have decided to make an important investment in your future and our city.
As a first-time home buyer in the Memphis area, you are likely experiencing a lot of feelings: excitement, anxiety, confusion, frustration, and maybe a little impatience. All of these emotions are completely valid – this is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make!
At Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS, it is our privilege and passion to help you find the home of your dreams. Especially when you are buying a home for the first time, there is a lot to navigate and to consider in your purchase.
Our real estate agents’ experience and connections can point you to homes that are new to the market, neighborhoods you may be unfamiliar with, and parts of town that best fit your lifestyle and budget.
If you are thinking of purchasing your first home, follow our guide for homebuyers below:
Step One: Call Your Memphis Real Estate Agent
By contacting your Marx-Bensdorf, REALTOR, you are taking the right step in finding a home that is perfect for you. As the leading experts on homes for sale in the Memphis area, we know Mid-South real estate and can guide you toward the right purchase. If you are new to Memphis, you can start getting a sense of the areas we serve here.
Step Two: Get Organized
Since buying a home is such a big decision, you need to take time to do your homework. Of course, your Marx-Bensdorf, REALTOR can guide you through this process, but here are some items to keep in mind:
- Check your credit score. There are plenty of ways to do this online, sometimes free of charge. If your credit score needs work, take action at least six months prior to homebuying.
- Evaluate your assets and overall spending. Knowing how much money you have in your name and in savings, how much you owe in other loans, and how much money comes in and out of your bank account each month can help you determine how much home you can afford.
- Assemble your financial statements and files. It would be smart to have at least a few recent pay stubs, bank statements, and recent tax forms to share with your mortgage lender.
Step Three: Calculate the Numbers
Once you have your files collated, it’s time to meet with a home loan lender and crunch the numbers. Here are some good rules of thumb to follow:
- Find out what your true budget is. Take into account your income plus how much of a loan you are offered from the bank (and the rate at which you can pay it back).
- Your down payment is ideally 20% of your home’s cost; however, there are programs and loans that can reduce your down payment. Meet with your mortgage lender to learn more.
- Generally, you should keep your housing costs at no more than 30% of your monthly income.
- Factor in how much money you would be able to set aside for maintenance, renovations, and furnishings to your home.
Meeting with your home loan officer will clarify any questions you have about what you can afford and where your money should go. Ask your Marx-Bensdorf, REALTOR for recommendations on finding a home loan lender!
Step Four: Consider Your Priorities
Now that you have everything in place for the financial side of homebuying, you can now focus on the heart of your purchase. What do you truly want in a home?
Establishing your priorities for your new home is crucial in finding a home that is right for you. Consider the following questions when you are making your list:
- How long do you want to live in this home?
- Are you planning to use a public school system for your children? Which school systems do you prefer?
- How much work are you willing to do to update a house?
- Do you want city or suburban living? Would you rather have a home that is further away from town, or find something that is closer to Memphis’ center?
- What length commute to work is acceptable? Or, if you work at home, what conditions should your home office have (in terms of size, noise level, lighting, accessibility from the exterior, etc.)?
- Do you want to live on a quiet street? In a building with amenities? With a fenced-in yard? Knowing your short- and long-term priorities will help you make the best choice.
Step Five: Make Your Wish List
Finally – the fun part! If you are going to find your dream home, you should dedicate time to a little dreaming.
What features are you looking for in a home? Perhaps you have always wanted a back porch, double sinks in the bathroom, or a walk-in closet. Think about your must-haves, and make a list of what you would love to find in your future home. Inspiration is everywhere these days; access Pinterest and Instagram, browse home design magazines, and just drive around your ideal neighborhoods to see what style homes you like.
Sometimes new homebuyers have very long wish lists, hoping to check all the boxes in each home they see. Of course, this is not always possible, considering budgets and what is currently on the market. However, dream a little and let your real estate agent discuss what is possible for you.
Begin Your Memphis Area Home Search Today
Call us today to get started on finding your perfect home. To see properties that are currently available, visit our Property Search page.