A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by our team will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.


Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.


Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice we said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.


Step 3: Get Prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.


Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a Real Estate Agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for agents like us to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will we help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but we also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. Finding the perfect home can be a daunting task, this is where our expertise and wealth of knowledge come into play. Let us show you around some homes that meet your dream home criteria so you can find the one that's right for you.

Our goal is to provide you with the most personalized service to help you buy your dream home


Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). We will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.


Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. We will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.


Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. We can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.


Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.


Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.

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Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.


After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.

Kelly was great to work with and very patient as we figured out what we really wanted in a home then through her network, she was able to find the perfect home for our family before it even hit the market. I would highly recommend her!

— Jason W.

Kelly Meyer is absolutely the ultimate real estate agent you could ask for. She is detail-oriented, responsive, and is an advisor until after the close. We have worked with a dozen real estate agents over the years and Kelly outshined them all in every category. For example, her local knowledge gave us a heads-up on houses in our target neighborhood before the rest of the market. In fact, the house we pu...

— Buyer

Kelly is a very unique find among realtors. We purchased a home in Mooresville in September. We had never met her prior to being referred by a friend. From the first day we spent searching and looking, Kelly was extremely diligent in accessing our needs with respect to the real estate market. Further, she would offer great advice but, at the same time, allowed us to formulate our own opinions. Throughout...

— Mark & DeeDee

My boyfriend and I could not be happier that we had Kelly as our realtor. She made the process of buying our first home go so smoothly even with all of our questions and nerves. We also were from out of the area and every time we were making a trip up she found a time that worked for us to schedule the houses we wanted to see. From the first phone call, we knew that we wanted to work with her and we’re s...

— Chris & Chelsea

Kelly made home buying such an enjoyable experience from start to finish. Any bump in the road was handled with grace and knowledge and always with our best interest at heart. She truly works for the customer and what is in their best interest. The attention Kelly gave us was such a personal experience. We always felt as though we were her only clients (which I know was not the case). Her attention to de...

— Michelle M.

We have hired Kelly for our last three real estate transactions and we will not hesitate to retain her services for our next! Kelly embraces an honest, client-first relationship that fosters a smooth progression through the whole transaction. She works extremely hard to negotiate the best possible deal for her clients without sacrificing the integrity of the purchase/sale. It is extremely refreshing to w...

— Nathan & Courtney

We had an exceptionally positive experience with Jason as a first-time homebuyer, out of state from California. He answered the numerous, numerous questions we had throughout the whole process and didn’t hesitate to go see all the houses we requested to see while we were searching until we eventually found the one we settled on. He had all the answers and no issues at all. We have no hesitations about wo...

— Christopher Y.

We have bought and sold numerous homes over the years and our current experience with Kelly Meyer was the most pleasant of all. She is knowledgeable, professional, and very pleasant to deal with. Our purchase required long-distance communication and she never failed to return our calls or texts quickly. We would highly recommend her to anyone looking to buy or sell a home.

— Andy & Joanne

From the beginning of our journey (3 years ago), Kelly has carried us through every step of the way. I do not know what my husband and I would have done without her. She is knowledgeable in all aspects of the real estate and building process and represented us so well, including the extras through the process. She is absolutely amazing and never drops the ball.

— Renie & Rich

Kelly Meyer is in a word awesome! She treated my family as if we were truly the only people on Earth. There was never a time that we needed her and she wasn’t there. She is strong, committed, and has the negotiating skills that most dream of. I look at Kelly as not just my realtor but my friend. That is just how she deals with her customers.

— Durane B.

Kelly is such a blessing to us! We moved from California a year and a half ago to Huntersville. Kelly was such a big help in keeping us focused on the big picture and our heart for a home with plenty of space to gather friends and family. We love our home and our community and we are thankful to Kelly and her hard work and commitment to helping us.

— Sheryl W.

Kelly and Jason are my first choice for selling or buying a home! They are very professional, helpful, and knowledgeable and you feel like they are working for my best deal and benefit. In simple terms, they know what they are doing and are very helpful throughout the whole process.

— John T.

Jason and Kelly are a phenomenal team who helped my fiancée and I purchase our first home together. It was a fast and seamless transaction with a quick close. I will recommend them to everyone I know looking to purchase or sell a home. Thank you!

— Will B.

Work With Us

The Meyer Group is dedicated to assisting you in uncovering your dream home and addressing any selling requirements you may require. Connect with them today to kickstart your journey to find the ideal home!