How to Search For Homes in Westminster Like a Pro, Even as a First-Time Home Buyer

How to Search For Homes in Westminster Like a Pro, Even as a First-Time Home Buyer

  • Jennifer Stuckey
  • 07/26/23

When it’s time to finally start looking for homes for sale in Westminster CO, you may feel a bit of pressure. The challenge of locating a neighborhood, city, and street that matches you and your family’s needs can be difficult and stressful, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer.

The real estate journey for each buyer is unique and you’re likely to go through several ups and downs before you finally close on the home of your dreams. The details and complications that come from purchasing luxury properties can be quite a big undertaking. With this guide, we’ll help you to conduct a home search with confidence.

Keep your budget in mind

The number one way to start your home search in Westminster on the right foot is to have a clear and realistic picture of what you can afford. Many first-time home buyers begin looking for homes without consulting with their bank or a financial advisor beforehand and, as a result, come up with a somewhat inflated idea of what type of houses they want to tour.

While you may have a sense of excitement when thinking about the home-buying process, it’s equally important to be realistic. Plan a budget early and share your maximum purchase price with your agent. Start saving early and make sure to account for the following charges:

  • The down payment. Use an online calculator to determine what you might have to pay. This figure will vary with your credit score, your mortgage lender, and your type of loan.

  • Move-in expenses. This cost can be difficult to predict, but consulting with your agent to get a good range of how much you can expect to spend can be helpful.

  • Home repairs. Unless you’ve negotiated with your seller that they will complete all repairs prior to moving in, you may have to spend money to update and upgrade the home to your liking.

  • Closing costs. These usually vary from 2% to 6% of the total cost of your loan — though you may be able to get the seller to pay for a portion, if not all, of your closing costs.

List your non-negotiables

The next step to conducting a home search is to draw up a list of amenities and home features that you absolutely cannot live without. These are called your “non-negotiables”, and it’s important to make this list as accurate as possible without being too picky. Talk with your agent about what you must have in a home. Asking yourself the following questions may help:

  • Do I need a large backyard space for a growing family or pets?
  • How close do I want to be to nearby grocery stores, banks, and shopping centers?
  • How far am I willing to commute to work?
  • How much square footage do I need in a home in order to live comfortably?
  • Would I prefer to have lots of land or a smaller lot with less upkeep?
  • Do I expect to host guests frequently and need room to accommodate them?
  • What kind of neighbors, traffic, noise, and multifamily buildings do I want nearby?
  • How much energy and money am I willing to put in to fix up a home that’s not move-in ready?

Be specific about the home layout you want

Once you have a good idea of your must-haves, it’s time to get a little more specific about the profile and footprint of your next home. Luxury houses and townhomes in Denver come in as many varieties as you could dream of, so it’s important to understand how many rooms, functional areas, and empty spaces you and your family will need.

Consider how you’ll use the home. If you work from home, make sure there’s going to be space for a home office. If you have several cars in your family, you’ll certainly want a large enough garage. Are you okay with living on multiple floors, or will that cause issues for some of your visitors or family members? It’s also beneficial to think long-term. If you’re planning on growing your family or welcoming in renters, you should plan for that extra space as well.

Don’t go at it alone

Once you decide to join the market and start your home search, you’ll want the support and expertise of a local real estate agent. Not only will these professionals be able to direct you to the most sought-after properties in your area, but they’ll also have a wide network of other real estate pros they can recruit if and when you have questions. Your agent can get you in touch with all the most reliable contractors, home appraisers, inspectors, mortgage lenders, and attorneys so that you know you’re getting the best deal on your new home.

They’ll also stand by you when you start touring open houses. As a first time home buyer, there’s a good chance you might miss out on asking the right questions about a home that could sway you into or out of a deal. Shopping for a home is a complex process that’s always best done with the guidance of a professional real estate specialist at your side.

Get a mortgage pre-approval

Our last tip is one that will make you a much more attractive buyer on the market — something particularly important if you’re a first timer. A mortgage pre-approval letter is a document you’ll receive from your lender that proves to potential sellers that you’ve gone through the appropriate steps to secure funding. It tells sellers that you’re seriously motivated to make an offer on the house in question and that your credit is good. The best thing to do is apply for mortgage pre-approval as soon as you're certain you want to start shopping for a house.

Reach out to a Westminster real estate agent today

If you have any questions or you’d like to learn more about Westminster real estate, get in touch today with real estate expert Jennifer Stuckey for more information. As a top real estate agent in the field with ample experience buying and selling properties in the Westminster area, Jennifer is well-equipped to help you secure a home like a pro.

Work With Jennifer

Selling your house and moving is stressful in itself. But what often gets overlooked are all of the extra tasks that can take up your time and disrupt your schedule throughout the selling process! As your luxury North Denver, CO real estate agent, I will provide additional concierge-style services to make your life that much easier, and differentiate myself from other agents.

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