custom built rancher

First-Time Home Buyer’s Checklist

Purchasing your first home is an exciting event! Whether you are building your perfect custom home with a trusted name like Norman Graham Builders, or buying a used home, being a first-time home buyer is one of the most memorable experiences you can have.

The first time you go through the home-buying process it may seem a little overwhelming, so we hope to help ease some of that stress by providing this helpful checklist of items to consider when you’re about to make that first purchase. If you’ve bought a home before, consider this a refresher.

  • credit reportOne of the most important things to have before you start the home buying process is a solid understanding of your credit score. Checking your credit score takes just a few minutes and is free once every year. Your free credit report will help you ensure your credit score is correct, and no errors are reported to lenders. If you spot an error, you can correct it before the lender pulls your credit. This is important to do, because errors in credit scores are quite common.
  • It should go without saying that you must determine how much house you can afford. You don’t want to struggle with your monthly mortgage payments. Mortgage calculators can help you get a rough payment estimate, but a mortgage lender can get you even closer with a pre-approval. Never let an aggressive seller talk you into paying more than you can afford.
  • You’ve heard the old saying that the three most important things about a house are, “location, location, and location,” and if that isn’t clear now, it certainly will be after you settle down in one place. Neighborhoods can change from block to block, so ensure your perfect home is located in an area you want to live. Take time to visit the neighborhood at different times of day to check traffic, industrial sounds and smells, and other activities. Is the school district a good one? Are taxes reasonable? How’s the commute to your place of work? Are there parks or trails nearby? Do you want to be within walking distance of shopping areas? And the list goes on.
  • Find a trusted partner, not just another realtor or homebuilder. Browse their reviews on Facebook, Google, Angie’s List, etc., to see what previous customers or clients have said about the company. For homebuilders, review their portfolio of new homes and see if you like what they’ve done for others. Norman Graham Builders includes a list of awards we’ve won over the years to make it easy to see the quality you get when choosing us as your homebuilder.

Good luck in your search for your first home! If you are interested in a custom-built home and have questions or would like to speak with someone you can trust, give us a call at 717-656-7336 to get started. We’re looking forward to working with you!