Family homeWhen navigating the process of BUYING YOUR FIRST FAMILY HOME, it is all about the crew!

It is time to buy your first home. You and your spouse have been dreaming about this moment since you realized he was the one.  Most likely you have been saving money, pouring over every listing on your favorite real estate website, and obsessing over HOUZZ and Pinterest pictures. Then it hits you: wait a second! This is going to be our single largest purchase ever made.   The steps entailing signing a contract, filling out loan applications, deciding on insurance, scheduling a home inspection, and so on, might induce panic.  However, there is no need to, because following a few simple steps will make the process of purchasing a home easier and more exciting for the whole family.

Step One: Get creative and determine your wants and needs

As a family, discuss and determine what features and amenities would make up your dream home. Once a list has been started it’s a good time to then create a vision board, wishlist, or whatever medium you prefer to illustrate your family’s ideas. This is a great time to search sites such as HOUZZ or Pinterest, or watch HGTV as a family. 

When discussing wants and needs, you may want to consider the importance of neighborhood amenities and activities, access to water, bike trails, proximity to shopping and schools, or the distance to the beach. Would your family want an outdoor entertainment area or possibly more space of their own to relax and recharge? Answering questions like these will help create a more detailed picture of your family's wishes and will make it easier for your Realtor to assist you on this journey. Which leads us to the most important step... 

Step Two: Research and enlist a professional Realtor

A Realtor is a licensed real estate professional whose career is based on in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market and the many steps involved in buying a home.  An excellent realtor will actively listen to your entire family and ask questions about the wants and needs of each.   He or she is knowledgeable of the ins and outs of the area neighborhoods, current homes available, the school systems, hospitals, community and neighborhood amenities, nearby recreation facilities, and more.

A key role of the Realtor is understanding the complexities of the home buying and selling process and knowing the right crew to bring aboard to help your family navigate it.  They should assist with such tasks as getting you in contact with a mortgage lender, setting up a home inspection, referring to real estate closing attorneys, insurance agents, contractors, and other important contacts.  Your Realtor acts as your advocate, your lookout on the bow, your counselor, your friend, and your communication conduit through the entire buying experience. This is a relationship that is built on trust, as well as open communication. It is a relationship that will last throughout the process and after. If you are unsure of how to find a Realtor, asking family and friends is a great way to start.

Enjoy the process and happy home hunting!

Brian Kinard is a full-time Realtor with Lighthouse Realty. He is actively involved in the community and is currently the 2019 president of the Hilton Head Area Realtors and the treasurer of the Outside Foundation. When not working he is playing with his family or enjoying the best feature of the lowcountry – the water!  @cruisingwiththekinards on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook