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Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

What first-time buyers need to know about real estate

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Buying a home can be a scary, complicated process for anyone. This entire situation can be made more difficult if it is a person's first time navigating the tricky real estate world.

For these inaugural buyers, each step can seem like the most confusing thing of all time. Every word out of the real estate agent's mouth may sound foreign, and nerves could slow down the whole process. Instead of letting these common problems get in the way of purchasing a dream house, first-time buyers should heed a few crucial tips to simplify any transaction.

For starters, a home inspection is a must. These professionals will look over the entire property before a person makes an offer. That way, they'll be able to move forward with confidence that there aren't any hidden surprises, or walk away because repair costs will be too high.

Don't make the rookie mistakes
Everybody slips up from time to time, but little errors can get complicated fast when it comes to real estate. Therefore, first-time buyers should learn from others' mistakes, in order to dodge them when their time comes.

According to HGTV FrontDoor.com, location should be the first decision made, before ever looking for listings. This is because once the process gets started, it may move quickly if there is interest from other buyers. The worst thing a person can do is to make an offer that they may regret later, only because they were unsure about which listing they wanted to pursue. Due to this, first-time buyers should get the big decisions out of the way before looking for a house. These include location, style, features and price. After that, narrowing down the search parameters will be easy.

Moreover, a home inspection can uncover some faults that require attention. In some cases, these problems don't have to be deal-breakers. FrontDoor.com explained that homebuyers who fix up their new properties without professional help can save a lot of money. However, prospective do-it-yourselfers have to be confident ahead of time. Pushing forward with a project that may not get finished - or be completed improperly - can do more harm than good.

FrontDoor.com noted that the results of a home inspection can be used as leverage for the buyers. If, for instance, there is a problem with the roof, that fault can be brought to the negotiating table. The asking price could be reduced, or other financial concessions could be made that end up saving the new buyer a lot of money.

Know what goes into the process
There are a lot of steps along the way to owning a new home. While experienced veterans may not be fazed by this process, first-timers could get overwhelmed. There are many experts involved, from a real estate agent, lawyer and home appraiser to a property inspection professional. It helps to know what goes on behind the scenes.

Many people make this common assumption - a home inspection is the same as an appraisal. On the contrary, this isn't true, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Appraisals are designed to benefit the lender. These results will determine the value of a house, and then that figure is used to calculate the loan amount. 

An inspection is much more in-depth, HUD noted. Reports provide a lot of detail for buyers - not lenders - which is then used to help people make educated decisions about the purchase. A professional will come in to look closely at the entire structure, checking construction, mechanical components and all other systems. They can figure out what needs to be replaced and how long current elements will last.