So you’re ready to buy your first home. No doubt, it’s a big decision, so you might ask friends or relatives for advice. But they might not be the best experts. It’s best to consult with a Russ Lyon Sotheby’s agent to avoid some common misconceptions about home buying. 


Myth - First step: looking for a house

It seems logical — to start looking for a house in your favorite neighborhood. But that’s not a good idea because you might get your hopes up on buying a house you can’t afford. 


As an agent at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s, you first need to make sure your credit is in tip-top shape. You’ll also want to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start so you can determine your budget. 


Myth - Always go with a 30-year mortgage

Many home buyers think that by getting a 30-year mortgage, their payments will automatically be cheaper. While this may be true vs. a 15-year mortgage, I know at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s you could end up paying more during the life of the loan with a 30-year option. Essentially, you’re borrowing the same amount of money with a 30-year loan but for twice as long with a higher interest rate.  A 30-year mortgage might still be best for you, but it’s best to consider all options, including adjustable rate mortgages. 


Myth - Putting 20% down to avoid PMI

Avoiding PMI, or private mortgage insurance is definitely a plus by putting 20% down. But many lenders will give you home loans with just 10% or 5% down, as long as you’re willing to pay the extra amount for PMI. 


Myth - The only up front cost is a down payment

A down payment is definitely not your only up front cost. Keep in mind, the seller might decide they want you to pay for closing costs, which can range from 3%-6% of the purchase price. You’ll also have fees, taxes, inspections, insurance, and credit report costs among others. 


Myth - If you have bad credit, forget about buying a home

You can still buy a home with bad credit. FHA loans are great for borrowers with low credit scores, requiring only a 3.5% down payment. Read the fine print since FHA loans aren’t for everyone. 


Myth - Forget the home inspection

Definitely DO NOT skip the home inspection. You might be worried that someone else might snatch up your dream home. Sellers are actually hoping you’ll skip this step. But I know at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s it could cost you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in repairs if you skip this crucial step. In other words, without a home inspection, you’ll be buying the home as is, not knowing what you’re getting into as far as repairs. 


Myth - There’s no negotiating the asking price

When you make an offer on a Russ Lyon Sotheby’s home, it doesn’t have to be the asking price. If you have good credit and a down payment, sellers might be willing to negotiate the price. Also, if your home inspection finds any problems, you’ll be in a good position to negotiate the price. 


Myth - You don’t need an agent

You might think you have all the knowledge you need to buy a house yourself. But Russ Lyon Sotheby’s pros like myself bring a lot of expertise to the table. We’ll be able to negotiate the best price and make sure everything goes smoothly.