If you’re buying a home for the first time, you likely have lots of questions – and you should. After all, this is likely the biggest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime, so you want to make absolutely sure you’re taking all the steps to do it right.

Well, we’re here to help. We’ve helped hundreds of first-time buyers just like you, and we can answer any and all questions you have.

Here are just a few of the questions our first-time buyers usually ask. Have more? Don’t see your concern addressed? Contact The Claus Team today for more help.

Do I really need a realtor?

A real estate agent can make the home buying process easier and more efficient, helping you find the right properties, at the right price point for your budget. They can also schedule tours and negotiate on your behalf, and they’ll be there from start to finish, walking you through every step of the process. For a first-time buyer, this help can be invaluable.

How much can I afford?

This depends on your income and monthly expenses, as well as the mortgage rate you’ll qualify for. Use a home affordability calculator to get a rough estimate, or consider getting pre-approved with a mortgage company for a more definitive number.

How do I find a mortgage company?

Your best bet is to go with a recommendation. Your real estate agent will likely have a few lenders they use regularly, or you may want to ask a friend or family member which lenders they’ve used and been satisfied with. You can always check online too, but be sure to read customer reviews first.

Are listing prices negotiable?

Always. You don’t have to offer the full price listed for a home, and many times, sellers are willing to negotiate much lower prices than what they initially ask for. They may even be willing to cover closing costs and other associated expenses if they’re really motivated to sell. This is where having a good realtor on your side can come in handy.

How long will it take?

In general, it will take about a month from the time you put an offer on a home to the time you close, which is when you’ll get your keys and can move into the property. Sometimes, the closing process may take longer if there are hold-ups with the inspection or appraisal, but your agent will guide you through this and make sure things stay on track.

How much do I need for a down payment?

That depends on the type of loan you’re getting, but it could be as little as 3 percent. Keep in mind though, the more you’re able to put down, the less your monthly mortgage payment will be, so do your best to maximize your down payment however possible.

Are you looking to buy your first home? Let The Claus Team guide the way. Contact us to learn more or start your home search today.