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First Time Home Buyer

A home purchase is biggest transaction for most people during their lifetime, and little mistakes in financing, property selection, or location and impact your financial situation for many years into the future.  A few simple considerations and selecting proven professional services of Maureen Realty will greatly improve your success potential.  Some of the things that should be considered follow.

Pre-QualificationMaureen Realty Happy Family

Meet with a mortgage broker/banker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.  Remember that any credit decisions (like buying a car with a loan or a dishwasher on revolving credit) may negatively affect your credit score and may change your initial qualification.


While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.

Your Needs & Wants

It is helpful to write down the things you need and those that you may want. The first list should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.

Representation by a Professional

In Oklahoma, the default law places the real estate professional in a transactional basis, meaning that they represent neither buyer or seller, and are thus referred to as associates, not agents.  Under certain circumstances, a professional may have existing relationships with blood relatives, in which they would be defined with a single-party relationship and would act as an agent for their customer and would be disclosed prior to the time you would make an offer.  Real estate professionals in Oklahoma are allowed to simply fill in the blanks on standardized contract forms, and buyers may have an attorney review the forms prior to placement of an offer.  In Oklahoma, the default transaction brokerage designation mandates that both buyer and seller be treated fairly, with no confidential information disclosed to the other party without prior authorization.

Things to Consider

Maps - One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.

Property Lists  - A file of the properties that your associate has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.

Pictures - Camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.

Location - Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?

Empty House - Visualize the house empty and with your décor.  Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?

Be Objective - Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.

Be Thorough - A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:

  • Inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
  • Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
  • Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
  • You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).
  • All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional assist you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended.
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