The First-time Homebuyer’s Getting Started Guide

Posted by Shirley Franklin Realtors on September 2, 2016
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Welcome to the housing market!

You’re embarking on a journey that most people go through at some point in their lives: buying your first home.

A home is one of the biggest investments you can make for you and your family. Every mortgage payment you make means you own more of your home. If you stay in your house long enough to own completely, you’ll have an enormous asset in your possession.

The path to owning a home is not always straight, and that’s why we want to help you find the right house for you and your family to invest your lives in.


Where do you start?

The first stop is always a look into your finances. What are you paying on your rent now? How much have you been able to put away? Have you recently gotten a raise, or had to take a pay cut?

While your rent payments just go straight to your landlord every month, your mortgage will allow you to gain equity in your home with each payment. You can take that into account whenever you consider your wealth in terms of property.

Your next course of action is to get pre-approved for a home loan. You can shop around to find a lender with low rates—this can be a bank or a mortgage company. Make sure to ask if they are FHA-approved. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures loans for first-time homebuyers to make it easier and safer for you to borrow money.


How do I search for a home?

Once you’ve gotten pre-approved, you should make a list of priorities. Sort things in columns as “must-haves”, others as “would like to have”, certain things that are dealbreakers, and some things that you could tolerate if the new home fits all the other criteria on your list.

With that list you can begin to search locations and properties that fit your needs. Many people don’t know that REALTOR® boards all over the country maintain databases of all the properties listed by licensed REALTORS® in the area. The entire database for Springfield and surrounding areas is searchable on our website right here.

With the search tool, you can choose a location, desired square footage, number of beds and baths, and price range to get a complete list of REALTOR®-listed properties in the Springfield area.


Once you’ve made a shortlist, all you need to do is tour the houses with your REALTOR® and learn the nitty gritty on each house. You will discuss with your REALTOR® the pros and cons of each home until you find one that works best for you.

The full buying process can be found at our Buyer’s Road Map.


Give us a call at 417-818-1237 or set up an appointment with us online.  We can help you find your first home with everything you want for a price you can afford.

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