"It takes a village" is more than just a proverb about parenting. It also applies to how people go through life's big transitions. When you first started school, you relied on your teachers and classmates to help acclimatize to the new experience. When you got your first car, you need the mentorship of a driving instructor, parents and older siblings to get into gear.
Now, it's time to buy a home, and you once again need the help of professionals to navigate the process. The ascent into homeownership can be stressful at times, but with these four pros in your corner, you can relax a little. Here are the four people every first-time homebuyer should add to their contacts list.
A Mortgage Advisor
Getting a mortgage - let alone one with a good rate - can be challenging for some young people. Most often, you'll enter your home search having been "pre-approved" for a mortgage. Then, the moment you get an offer acceptance, an excellent mortgage advisor or broker will get the ball rolling on your full approval.
Find a mortgage advisor who's comfortable working on tight timelines. Also, check reviews to see if they have a reputation for garnering great rates.
A Real Estate Lawyer
Homebuying is awash in legal paperwork. To steer through it safely, meeting your signing deadlines without getting caught in an agreement you don't fully understand, hire a great real estate lawyer.
You don't have to pay a premium to get fantastic lawyers. You can find lower real estate legal fees with the same high calibre of service by partnering with an online real estate law firm. Just follow the good reviews on Google or Facebook (a firm with between 4.5 and 5 stars will do nicely) and explain your situation to them. They will help you write conditional offers, win bidding wars, sign loan agreements, sign closing documents and much more.
It almost goes without saying: Your realtor is indispensable. A quality realtor will go to bat for you time and again until you land on your dream home. They will arrange viewings, draft offers, advise on bids and liaise between you, the seller and the seller's realtor.
This guide from The Balance on finding the right real estate agent is a worthwhile read. In it, they walk through agent referrals, searching online and navigating the complicated world of realtor advertisements.
A Home Inspector
Provided you have a home inspection contingency, you will need a home inspector. When all's said and done, your interaction with an inspector will be brief and formal. They go in, poke around, then put together a detailed report on everything right and wrong about the home. Don't let their curtness and bluntness put you off, though - they are an essential tool for keeping you protected and informed.
There you have it: the top four contacts on your home buying list. Add to them the long list of friends and relatives in your life who relay supportive messages and encouraging words, and you have yourself "a village"!