Tired of renting? Want to stop paying someone else’s mortgage and start investing in your own property? The Lake Havasu real estate market is hot, hot, HOT! Never owned a home before? That’s OK. These tips make it easier for first-time homebuyers to navigate the sometimes stressful journey to owning a Havasu home.
Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
Finding the Right REALTOR®
First of all, you need a REALTOR® with some experience in the Lake Havasu real estate market. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers for recommendations. Interview several to find who you feel most comfortable with before hiring one. Make sure you get references and follow up on them. Having the most experience does not always translate to the best agent. However, you do need someone who knows their way around the negotiation table as well as the city.
Strengthen Your Downpayment
With high buyer demand and low inventory, some first-time homebuyers find themselves in a multiple-bidder situation. One way to make your offer stand out is the size of your downpayment. Yes, you might only need 3.5% down to secure your loan. But if a seller sees 5-10%, they think you might be a more serious buyer. In turn, they could choose your offer over someone with a lower downpayment. Check out Home Plus Arizona to see if you qualify for one of their downpayment assistance programs. Monetary gifts from friends and family also work in your favor, provided that you prove these are actual gifts and not loans to be repaid later.
Stay Flexible With Your Terms
First-time homebuyers should also try to be as flexible with their terms as possible. Yes, a 30-day close sounds great. But sometimes sellers need a shorter or longer timeline. Consider offering a rent-back option to the seller as well. This allows them to stay in that Havasu home for a specified amount of time after closing. In turn, they pay you rent for the agreed upon time.
Worst House Could Equal Best Investment
Shiny and new can be quite appealing. But new construction homes also can be scarce. One tip that experts like to give first-time homebuyers is to consider the worst looking home on the block instead. With a little money and elbow grease, you could use sweat equity to build actual equity into your Lake Havasu home.
Finally, limit the contingencies you place in your offer. You do not have to worry about selling the home you live in (since you are a first-time homebuyer). So, you eliminate having to ask for a home sale contingency. But avoid asking for extra repairs, new carpet, paint, etc. Too many contingencies turn off sellers. Discuss with your REALTOR® which contingencies you definitely should include and which you should just let go.