Libby’s Secrets for buying your first home
Buying your first home can be complex and confusing at times. And when you’re buying in Northern Colorado, chances are you are spending half a million dollars or more – you need to do this correctly!
Just like most first-time homebuyers, you want to make sure you don’t do something wrong. Or, you might worry that you don’t know what you don’t know!
It’s completely normal to have a lot of questions when you are buying your first home! That’s why I’m here to provide answers to some of the most common questions.
The questions swirling around in your mind are likely the same ones that other first-time buyers, like you, want to ask too. And, more than likely, it was the same questions that buyers who went before you have also asked!
I assure you, there is NO “dumb question.” Plus, maybe you’ll also learn something “you didn’t know you didn’t know” about buying your first home. Your first home should build a path toward financial stability, and I want to be sure you’re completely ready! And please, if you have any questions that aren’t listed below here, reach out and ask!
Q: How do I know the property value will increase?
There are no guarantees, but there are clues and historical data that are indicative of future performance. One thing that drives home values in our area more than anything else is the access to a Colorado lifestyle. Remember the influx during COVID? People love living here!
So, the good news about northern Colorado is that our population is increasing, our unemployment is low, and our economy is booming. That is a recipe for an increase in value overtime.
However, you still need to buy intelligently:
— each neighborhood, block and/or building can be different–and it’s important to understand that so you don’t overpay.
There is an old saying that says you make money in real estate when you buy, so keep that in mind.
Q: Is it worth it to find something faster when interest rates are low?
Buy and sell when the time is right for you, and when you can afford the home. We can talk about the yearly cycle of prices and demand in our region, and one of my favorite loan officers can help you consider current interest rates… but always go based on your own timeline and schedule.
One thing we know for sure—there will always be homes to buy. And, when interest rates rise a lot, that often times leads to a slight cooling of prices.
Q: How do I get a good deal?
Well…if you’re on my page, I KNOW you’re committed to getting a good deal. So, step one is work with me (I’m not being trite, I’m quite serious). I focus on this for each and every one of my clients! You make money when you buy in real estate, so making sure you buy well especially when you are buying your first home is absolutely critical.
One primary way to make sure you are getting good deal is to look at the specific neighborhood or block you are buying in and compare your home to what has sold over the last six months to a year.
There will be a range in price depending on specific location and condition (a home that was just renovated will sell for more). Compare the home you want to buy with what has sold recently to make sure you are not overpaying.
Also know that the longer a home sits on the market, the more likely you can get a lower price. Heck, I have helped clients close for $90,000 under the original asking price…even in 2022!
And please keep this in mind—just because something is “cheap” doesn’t mean it’s a good deal.
Q: If the house I want is $20k over my price range, does that mean I can’t afford it?
Maybe, maybe not…
Focus on your monthly payments, not just on a purchase price. By doing this, you’ll know what you may or may not be comfortable paying for a home every month.
In other words, focus on the fact that you want to pay, say, $2,500 per month on your new home and NOT on a somewhat arbitrary price point.
Why? Because for every $10,000 change in price, your monthly payment only goes up about $50 per month. If there are two substantially similar homes you love, sometimes even frugal ole me thinks the $20,000 is a better deal because it’s in better shape.
So, that extra $20,000 price tag equates into an extra $100 per month. Is that something you can handle? Perhaps you can, and perhaps you want to. I will be there every step of the way to make to help you think through your decisions.
I'm Libby Earthman. I specialize in helping first-time buyers and sellers pursue financial security on the Northern Front Range.
825 Delaware Ave, Suite 208
Longmont, CO 80501