First-Time Home Buyers

Owning a home may be your dream. If it's to be a happy experience, you need to prepare for the responsibilities involved. Some people have a notion that home ownership is like renting, but with the freedom to have pets and paint the home whatever color you like.

These freedoms come with the responsibilities a renter doesn't have. Your monthly rent payment is replaced with a mortgage. On top of the mortgage, you will have to pay taxes, insurance, utilities, and home maintenance. Make sure you understand all the expenses of owning a home and how much home you can afford before you buy.

Questions For First-Time Buyers

Are you ready to buy a home?

Buying a home gives you more freedom to decorate and have pets, but it's a commitment. Once you own a home, you won't be able to just give the landlord a 30-day notice and move out. Successful home ownership requires properly maintaining your home. Proper maintenance is the best way to protect the investment you've made in it.

How much can you afford?

Everyone wants to have their dream home. Home buyers see the TV shows where buyers look at perfect new homes with all the upgrades. Can you afford the move-in ready home? Or do you need to start with something that requires a little TLC? It's important to know how much home you can afford before you buy. The last thing you want is to find you can't afford to go out to dinner or on vacation.

It can be disappointing to find that you can't afford the perfect home right now. Start with something that is nice but more modest. Find some inexpensive things to improve the home, like a new paint color. Stay in the home until you can afford the "dream home."

What is your debt-to-income ratio?

Part of how much home you can afford will depend on this number. Lenders in today's environment will be looking at this number. It can be just as important as your credit score. Your total debt shouldn't be more than 40% of your income. This includes your car payments, credit cards and mortgage payment. Your mortgage debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live. Our most popular areas like Summerlin or Green Valley command higher prices. If you want to live in those areas you may have to buy something a little smaller and older. If you want more house for the money, you might consider some of the newer parts of town. Centennial Hills is convenient to Summerlin but you can get more house for the money. Mountain's Edge is another area with attractive pricing.

What kind of home do you want?

Do you like to putz around in the yard and do your own home maintenance? Then a single-family home should be suitable for you. If you hate doing work in the yard and around the house, maybe you should consider a condo or townhome. The only problem with condos is you have to calculate the monthly HOA as part of your housing expense. Plus, some condominium complexes cannot be financed. If you decide to buy a condo we'll need to focus on the ones that are FHA-approved.

Condos and townhouses are in communities with Homeowner's Associations. On top of paying the monthly HOA fee, you will find they have a variety of rules. The rules will include how many pets you may have. They may also specify how late you can play loud music and where you can park.

Many of Las Vegas' single-family homes are also in a Homeowner's Association. Their rules may not be quite as strict about pets as a condo's rules. You should still make sure you can live with them. HOAs may have rules about how, when and where you can put out the garbage. They may not allow you to park on the street by your house overnight. They'll want you to get approval for most home renovations that affect the exterior. If you can't abide by the rules, don't buy a home that's governed by a Homeowner's Association.

Debbie Drummond at Simply Vegas Can Help

You need a good agent who will work hard for you. Debbie Drummond at Simply Vegas is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. We want you to find the home that will make you happy without leaving you "house poor."

When you hire us to help you buy your first home, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then we'll work to merge your priorities to find the best homes for you to consider. We'll send you all the suitable properties as soon as they hit the market. Through our office, we also have access to many new listings before they are listed.

Once we find the home you love, we will carefully consider how much you should pay for it. We'll negotiate the price and the terms to give you the best possible deal. Once you're in contract, we'll work diligently. We'll get all the inspections ordered. We'll see that your lender has all the necessary paperwork. We'll ensure that all necessary deadlines are met. We will negotiate any necessary repairs suggested by the inspections. We'll go with you to sign the final paperwork and to do your final walkthrough.

From the first interview to the moment we hand you the keys, we can help you navigate the process of buying a home. Feel free to contact us at your convenience so that we can get started finding your home.