Five tips for first-time buyers

No matter how much time you spend on researching and educating
yourself about your home purchase, it's hard to cover every detail. Here
are a few tips for avoiding rookie mistakes with your first home

  1. Save as early as you can: Even if you think you're years away from
    buying your first home, try to start saving for your down payment. It
    makes a huge difference in your monthly payments, and helps avoid paying
    Private Mortgage Insurance.

  2. Be thorough with mortgage shopping: There are countless resources
    out there that can help you get the best terms for your mortgage. It may
    seem like a lot of work to shave less than a point off your mortgage
    rate, but it'll save you thousands in the long run.

  3. Consult a skeptic: You're likely to fall in love with a home, and
    that can make it difficult to take problems seriously. Bring along a
    skeptical friend or family member who can give you an honest opinion.

  4. Be patient with getting settled: You'll be anxious to make your new
    home your own, but take some time to see how your budget truly shakes
    out. In other words, hold off on big furniture purchases and remodeling

  5. Make sure you're happy with the neighborhood: The house may be
    perfect, but don't discount the surroundings. You don't want to end up
    in the suburbs if you're going to miss walking to your favorite coffee
    shop, and you don't want to settle for the city if you're looking
    forward to some peace and quiet.