A house is likely the largest single investment you will ever make, and being a first-time buyer, you are probably confused with the cost, complexity, and commitment you are about to make. So before you buy your first house, make sure you have done your homework. From completely checking out the house to saving money, here is a simple checklist for the first-time home buyer.

  1. Do not scrimp on the home inspection.

You may hear that because the home was recently built, it does not need to have a home inspection done, but this isn’t true. There may have been some problems with the construction or other issues that you may want to know about, when you are in a position to negotiate with the seller or walk away if needed. You must hire a trained and certified home inspector.

  1. Check out the comparable sales.

Find out what else is for sale in the area to help you inform about your asking price. This includes monitoring any foreclosures in the area. Since foreclosed homes normally cost less, you can use this information when you decide on the price you want to offer for the home.  

  1. Know the time on the market.

If a house just appeared on the selling list, and there is a lot of demand in your area, be aware that you may need to make an offer very quick. If it is been in the market for a long time, look at the price history. Your real estate agent can provide a pricing analysis as you will consider making an offer.  

  1. Ask how flexible the seller is on price.

First, check to see how flexible the seller is before you are making an offer and can avoid offending the seller with a low-ball offer while also knowing when there is room to negotiate. If you offer an under asking price, you will have to make offers on several properties before you find a seller who will accept your price.  

  1. Negotiate credits and closing costs.

While negotiating the purchase price of the house, you may ask for credits to repair or replace items that the home inspector have noted, such as a roof or hot water heater. You may also negotiate with the seller on having them pay for the closing costs associated with the sale.

  1. Get paperwork for mechanicals.

Ask the seller for documents for any mechanical or other significant updates made to the house. This way, if something breaks, you will know if it is covered under warranty and who to contact to repair it.    

  1. Do a final walk-through.

Before you sign the closing documents, do a final walk-through of the property before you finally purchase it. Now that carpets and furniture have been removed, do the areas need to be repaired? Has the seller removed everything from the property? This can help you to avoid unpleasant surprises when you come home for the first time.     

Buying a home often requires a lot of patience, flexibility and the ability to see the potential.