National Public Radio (NPR) has recently made its way into reporting the buying and selling process of real estate. In this post, we’re looking at its most current “advice for first time homebuyers.” NPR contacted the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Realtor.com for their respective points of view.

Here are NPR’s Tips for First Time Homebuyers:

  1. Be informed and aware of what you can afford.
    1. NPR suggests using the Payment Feature on Vylla’s website (vylla.com) to get a clear, unbiased view of what you can afford to buy and/or rent.
    2. This Vylla guide can steer your search in the direction of affordability.
    3. First time buyers want to see how purchase prices and renal prices translate into monthly payments.
  2. Make sure to save for closing costs.
    1. Closing costs, often called “hidden costs, include such things as appraisal fees, attorney fees, recording and transfer fees and escrow charges.
    2. Often times, buyers and sellers split these costs so make sure your agent negotiates such closing costs in your favor.
    3. Buyers can expect to pay 3%-4% of the cost of the home in closing costs.
    4. Opt for transparent real estate agents and mortgage companies so you’re not “surprised” with these costs.
  3. Manage your debt and your down payment.
    1. Traditionally, buyers were advised to save/have 20% of the home’s purchase price for a down payment.
    2. Today, there is more flexibility concerning down payments. Even buyers with some debt and/or not perfect credit scores can obtain a 3.5% down payment.
  4. Research every thing about the house INCLUDING the neighborhood.
    1. Generate searches city-to-city, block-to-block so you’re more than sure you’re making a good investment.
    2. Be aware of school district boundaries, population demographics, crime rates, public transit access, commute times to and from work.
  5. Streamline your real estate resources.
    1. Consider a one-stop platform that delivers real estate agents, title, escrow and mortgage services under one point of contact.
    2. You can always get “second opinions.”
  6. Think about how your chosen house would serve you over the long-term.
    1. According to NAR, the average tenure or time spent living in the same house is now 10 years.
    2. What you want now and what you visualize for you life down the road a bit are two different things. As much as possible, make sure this house fits your vision for your future.