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ASK THE EXPERT I’m ready to buy my first home. Where do I start? Talk to a mortgage lender. Many first-time home buyers don’t realize the importance of getting prequalified, and they often fail to shop around to find the best mortgage product for their particular situation. Ask plenty of questions and make sure you understand the home loan process completely. Find a trusted partner. It’s vital that you work with a real estate professional who understands your goals and who is willing and able to guide you through every step of the home buying process. Think ahead. Factor maintenance and repair costs into your buying budget so you don’t come up short. And, while it’s easy to get wrapped up in your current needs, consider your future needs before you buy. The average first-time buyer plans to be their home for about 10 years. Be ready to act. This is especially true in today’s market with extremely low inventory of homes for sale. It’s very common for buyers to miss out on the first home they want because they are not prepared to act quickly. By the time they’ve made their decision, they may find that someone else has beat them to it. Susan Cox REALTOR® (804) 241-1376 susancoxhomes.com LacyFine Williams Joyner Properties (804) 864-0316 Lacy.Williams@ Submit a good offer. JoynerFineProperties.com Your offer is probably not the only one on the table. Do RichmondHousingToday.com what you can to ensure it’s appealing to a seller by including a preapproval letter and limiting restrictive terms where possible. This is where your REALTOR® can be your greatest ally.