First-time Homebuyer Checklist: A 7 step guide to buying for first home

If you’ve been dreaming of buying your first home, your dreams may soon become reality. Becoming a homeowner for the first time can be a thrilling and nerve-wracking experience – especially when trying to navigate the different steps in the process. To help ensure that nothing slips through the cracks, it’s important to use a comprehensive checklist as you go along so that each step is clear and precise. This post will guide you through some of the top items on any first-time homebuyer checklist!

1. Research neighborhoods and local real estate markets

For First-Time Homebuyers, research is key. Learning the ins and outs of local real estate markets will help you to make the best decision for your family. Take time to get familiar with the neighborhoods available in your price range and learn what amenities they have to offer. Find out which schools are nearby, as well as other important factors like crime rates, public transportation stations, and median home prices. With a little bit of extra effort and some online research, First-Time Homebuyers can find the best location for their new home.

2. Consider your budget and make a list of what amenities you desire in a home

First-time homebuyers need to carefully consider their budget when looking for the perfect home. It’s important to make a list of amenities that are desired such as an updated kitchen, open plan living spaces or bigger than average bedrooms, so that during the purchasing process, buyers can prioritize what they need and make sure they remain within budget. Keeping track of the initial amenities list will also help focus buyers on any additional features that may be considered once inside a potential home, as it is easy to get distracted by small details. Knowing your financial limits upfront ensures a smooth transition from house buyer to homeowner.

3. Research mortgages and other loan options that fit your budget

First-time homebuyers have a lot to consider when researching mortgages, from rate comparison shopping to understanding the long-term impact of an adjustable interest rate versus the security of a fixed one. It’s important to look into all loan options that fit your budget, try to reduce fees when possible and explore government funded programs, like FHA loans and VA programs, that can give you more leverage with credit requirements. Doing research before committing to a mortgage is essential for anyone looking for their dream home or trying to refinance an existing one. Comparing rates and loan terms will provide you the best chance at securing a mortgage that fits your needs and budget.

4. Hire an experienced realtor who knows the area well

Investing in property for the first time can be daunting, but with the right team on your side, it’s not as scary as it seems. One of the most important members of that team should be an experienced realtor who knows the area well. First-time homebuyers will benefit greatly from a realtor who is knowledgeable and attentive to their specific needs; they will not just provide valuable insights into properties, but also negotiate and complete the legal paperwork required to make sure that everything is done according to the law. Work with an experienced realtor and you’ll gain peace of mind throughout your entire home buying journey!

5. Get pre-approved for a loan

First-time homebuyers are often at a disadvantage when it comes time to shop for a home. Without the knowledge of the full process, they’re typically unaware of the importance of getting pre-approved for a loan before they start their search. By getting pre-approved, buyers will demonstrate to sellers and realtors that they are serious and that they have their finances in order. This could also boost their confidence and give them an edge in some highly competitive markets. Getting pre-approved takes only a few steps and can be very beneficial in making sure you get the best possible rate on your future mortgage. Being prepared goes a long way in any situation and securing your loan approval first can offer you peace of mind when looking for your dream home.

6. Estimate Closing Cost & Other Expenses

First-time homebuyers may be overwhelmed when faced with the potentially exorbitant expenses associated with the closing of a home. There are various types of expenses one must include in the budget, such as taxes, legal fees, and title insurance. Although these costs can add up quickly, taking solid steps to estimate closing costs can save a significant amount of money. It’s wise to investigate various financing options available, as well as keep track of other costs related to purchasing a home. Do your research and consider guidelines such as down payments and the amount covered by your mortgage provider so that you’re prepared for a successful closing experience.

7. Begin Looking for Homes & Making Offers

As a first-time homebuyer, you may be overwhelmed when it comes to looking for homes and making offers. But remember that with the right knowledge and guidance, this process can be quite enjoyable – and incredibly rewarding once you have the keys to your new home! First things first: research neighborhoods, compare listings and prices, consult with a property advisor, talk to your friends and family about their experiences, and familiarize yourself with your local market conditions. Once you start seeing real potential in a few options, take the initiative to visit each property in person or virtually so you can get an idea of what’s out there in terms of features, location benefits or drawbacks, and value for money. Finally, when it’s time to make an offer – think realistically but confidently! You are well on the way toward unlocking the doorway to homeownership!


Purchasing a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make, and it’s important to take your time during the process. By doing your research up-front, creating a budget and understanding how much you can afford for a house, as well as getting pre-approved for a loan and hiring an experienced realtor who knows the area, you’ll be able to save both time and money in the long run. Be sure to be realistic when estimating extra costs like closing costs so that you’re not surprised by hidden expenses before signing on the dotted line. Taking these steps first will help ensure that you find a home that fits your needs without breaking the bank. So why wait? Reach out to start your home search today!

If you would like to discuss your specific situation and get my advice on how to navigate your home buying process I am just a call / text / or email away! With Lions Realty Group on your side, you’ll receive the best care and attention available in the industry today. We are experts at helping First-time Homebuyers get their first home, and will be here for the longterm to help sell and trade up in the future. Contact me today to get started on the home buying process with confidence! Currently assisting Clients in King County, Snohomish County, and Yakima County, with more to come.

Benjamin Record


Lions Realty Group

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