10 Tips for First Time Home Buyers in Oklahoma City

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make. It’s also one of the most stressful, and if it’s your first time, it can be even more intimidating. You might think that buying a house is like buying anything else—you go to the store, find something you want and then buy it. However, there are many things that need to be considered before purchasing a home in Oklahoma City, OK.

1. Figure out how you want to live.

It’s important to figure out what kind of home you want before you start looking. You can do this by asking yourself questions like:

  • What kind of space do I need? Do I want a large house with plenty of room for entertaining, or would I rather live in a cozy bungalow with just enough space for me and my family?
  • What kind of neighborhood do I want to live in? A quiet residential area or one that’s close to shops and restaurants?
  • What type of house should I buy—and how much money can I spend on it?

2. Know your budget.

The first step to buying a house is knowing your budget. Know what you can afford, and don’t stretch it by getting caught up in the excitement of buying a new home.

When it comes time to make an offer on a home, sellers will expect that you have financing lined up so they can be sure they’ll get paid at closing. Make sure you know what your monthly payment will be before making an offer on any property.

3. Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking at houses.

One of the most important steps in the home buying process is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This means that you have an approved loan amount, based on your income and credit history. The lender will also look at other factors like the number of people in your household, their ages, assets and debts as well as expenses such as car payments or student loans. Once they have determined what they think you can afford based on these factors, they will give you an approval letter stating how much money they are willing to lend you (the maximum amount).

A couple signs paperwork.

4. Shop around.

Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best mortgage rates and rates from different lenders. You can do this by calling your local bank, as well as seeking out independent mortgage brokers who can help guide you through the process of finding the right loan for your needs.

5. Set a timeline for buying your home.

It is important to set a timeline for buying your home. This will help keep you focused and motivated, since many first-time home buyers become discouraged when they find out how long the process can take.

You should also make sure that you are ready in the time frame that you have set before beginning looking at houses. If not, then don’t rush it; there’s no sense in rushing into something if it isn’t right. However, if everything feels right on all levels and your finances allow for it then do not wait too long either—the housing market moves quickly these days.

6. Find an agent who understands your needs and can help guide you through the process of buying a home in Oklahoma City.

A good local real estate agent can help you find the home that is right for you. They take into account your preferences and budget and can alert you to new houses on the market as they become available. They will also guide you through the home buying process, and can recommend other professionals you need to work with, such as home inspectors.

7. Look at the community, not just the house.

When you’re looking for your first home, take a look around the community. What do people say about the neighborhood? Is it safe, or are there a lot of break-ins? How far is it from work, and how long will it take to get there? Are there good schools near by, or is the commute too far for kids to go if they need additional education after elementary school? What are some things that might affect your quality of life: crime rate and safety concerns (are there lots of break-ins), cost of living compared to other areas in town (can you afford this area), job opportunities available nearby (do many people have jobs), amenities offered within walking distance such as parks/playgrounds/parks.

Toddler boy running in a quiet residential street.

8. Don’t fall in love with a house that’s beyond you financially or emotionally.

When looking at homes, you must be realistic about what you can afford:

  • Make sure the mortgage payments won’t take up too much of your monthly income.
  • Make sure property taxes won’t be too high for your budget.
  • Make sure maintenance costs aren’t going to make it impossible for you to stay afloat financially if something breaks down unexpectedly (and this happens more often than people think).
  • Consider your insurance costs as well.

9. Hire a professional inspector.

If you’re a first-time home buyer and looking to buy in Oklahoma City, hire an inspector to find out any issues with the home before making an offer on it.

This is important because:

  1. If there is a serious issue with the home or damage to the foundation, you may choose not to buy it after all.
  2. If smaller issues are found, you have the opportunity to negotiate with the seller to either have those things repaired before you move in, or have the cost of the house reduced for you.

It may be tempting to skip this step to save time and money, but in the long run, you want the security of knowing that nothing major is wrong with your new home.

10. Hire an attorney.

In Oklahoma, an attorney is required to be present for your title examination, which is part of your closing costs. However, you may also wish to have them review the contract and other documents as well. It will cost you extra, but this can be invaluable to avoid locking yourself into a deal you don’t want.

Family holding keys after buying a new house.

So, there you have it!

These are some of the most important things to keep in mind as you begin your home buying journey in Oklahoma City.

Whether you’re looking for a starter home or something more extravagant, it’s important to do your research before making an offer on any property. As long as you keep these tips in mind throughout your search for a new place (and have an agent or lender who can help guide you through it), the perfect home will soon be within your reach.