First-Time Home Buyer in East Grand Rapids: Four Things to Know

Robert Antonini

It is no wonder that East Grand Rapids was voted “best city to live” in Michigan by 24/7 Wall Street. With its rural feel complemented by its access to urban amenities, residents of this neighborhood get the best of both worlds. The award-winning schools, delightful gaslight village, and excellent parks and nature areas are only part of the community’s allure. The local housing market is a competitive one, so here are some ways to give you an edge when buying a home in East Grand Rapids.

Set yourself apart 

When it comes to buying East Grand Rapids real estate, you can do a few things to set yourself apart from the competition. As a result, you will be able to find the best property for your needs. Working with a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent who knows the area well and can guide you through the buying process is essential.

When you find a property that meets your needs and fits your budget, you should be prepared to act quickly. When you find a property you love, make an offer as soon as you get pre-approved for a mortgage. Being flexible and open-minded when choosing a home makes it easier to find a property that meets most of your needs and fits within your budget. You may have to compromise on certain aspects, but it could help you find your dream home in East Grand Rapids.

Getting pre-approved is essential if you're shopping in a competitive housing market or purchasing your first home. Offers aren't just about the highest price for sellers. It's also crucial for them to look for proposals that will stay strong. The preapproval tells sellers they can get financed for the amount they have offered.

Make a good offer

When there is competition for buyers in a real estate market, trying to underbid may not work to your advantage. To get an edge over the competition, find out how much you can realistically offer. Using a mortgage calculator can help you find that number. Going into an offer with a true sense of what you can afford can put you in a better position to get your offer accepted.

Researching the current market and the property itself is essential to making the best offer on a new home. Consider any unique features or upgrades that could affect the value of the home you are considering by looking at similar homes in the area. After understanding the market and the property, it's time to make an offer.

Being assertive and confident in your proposal is essential. Your real estate agent can help you in this process and ensure your offer is competitive and fair. Making an offer on a home is just the beginning of a long process. Negotiating with the seller and working together to reach a compromise that works for both of you is crucial. A home at a reasonable price can be found with patience and persistence.

Get personal

If you are up against other buyers, you can stand out by writing a personal letter to the sellers. Making a personal connection by telling them what you specifically love about their home or finding something you both have in common, along with a good offer, may put you ahead of the competition.

An offer for a new home may accompany a personal meeting with the seller. A positive negotiating environment can be created by creating trust. Getting to know the seller's motivations for selling, as well as sharing a little bit about yourself, can help you develop mutual respect and understanding.

Offer to pay closing costs

This effective method can help you stand out if the competition is stiff. Typically, it is recommended buyers pay up to half the seller’s closing costs. You should be prepared to spend between 2% and 6% of the loan cost on closing costs.

Find an expert real estate agent

Homebuyers, especially first-time buyers, can stand out from other buyers if they enlist the help of a qualified and experienced real estate agent. A real estate agent can help you through the process of buying a home and get to your goal more quickly and with less stress. They act as your advocate while maintaining an unbiased eye for all the details. They can help you find homes for sale in East Grand Rapids that may be off-market and gain leverage during negotiations.

Put down 20% only if it makes sense

While putting 20% down helps you avoid mortgage insurance and can lower your mortgage payments, it is not the best option for everyone. In reality, the median home buyer only puts 14% down on their home. Calculating how much of a down payment is reasonable for your budget is vital. Remember, there is no requirement for putting 20% down, and you should only put down the amount that will not leave you struggling to make your monthly mortgage payments.

Check out available loans and homebuyer assistance programs

If you are a first-time home buyer in East Grand Rapids, there are programs and loans available to you. The MI Home Loan program is just one of those programs. If you have a credit score of  640 or above, meet the income requirements, and the home you purchase meets the sales price limit, you can participate.

First-time homeowners can apply for a MI 10K DPA Loan and borrow up to $10,000. A required housing education class is attached to this loan, but the return on investment is high. Some programs help you with a down payment or get a better interest rate on your loan. Bankrate has developed a guide to help first-time home buyers to connect with the right program.

Discover more tips for becoming an East Grand Rapids homeowner

The best way to find out how to buy your first home is to work with an experienced real estate agent like Robert Antonini. He knows the East Grand Rapids housing market and can help you find your dream home. Contact Robert Antonini today if you are ready to buy your first home.

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