First-Time Homebuyers: Questions to Ask When Buying a House

Kalicia Bateman

Last Updated: July 28th, 2021

In 2019, first-time homebuyers made up 33 percent of all homebuyers in the United States. That's an average of 1.5 million Americans.

Compiled stats and trends of first-time homebuyers

Millennial-aged consumers make up the largest demographic of first-time homebuyers and they're facing a different housing market than their parents, as well as increased student debt, making it more difficult to buy a house.

However, that doesn’t mean that millennials, or anyone else for that matter, can’t or shouldn’t buy a house. Instead, it is important to ask the right questions:

Click on the links above to find the answers to these questions.

While these three questions obviously aren't exhaustive, they do offer a solid foundation and place to start in the home buying journey. 

To get an inside look at the first-time home buying process, we touched base with Rebecca Hunter, CEO at The Loaded Pig, who purchased her first home back in the summer of 2019. 

From her experience, Hunter recommends asking the right questions about potential mortgage lenders; in particular, how you would be communicating with your lender:

“I guess the main pain point that could have been avoided was that we picked an online lender so that we didn't have to deal with a person in an office or on the phone, but we ended up having to talk on the phone multiple times a day during the entire closing period. So asking, what is your main way to communicate during the closing process? Since your company is an online lender, does that mean that we will only communicate online?”

Many of the top mortgage lenders today are online, making it easier to apply for and manage your home loan. But, if problems arise or you have questions, it is important to know how you’ll most easily be able to communicate with your lender.

Once you have chosen a lender, or at least whittled down your list to your top two or three, there are some more important questions that you can ask about each lenders’ expertise and experience, which could potentially save you from stress later down the road.

“The huge issue that our lender brought to our attention exactly one week from closing was that they miscalculated the taxes and we had to pay off a $10,000 auto loan in order to close on the house,” Hunter describes. “This seemed like a lack of experience, so some questions I might have asked are: How experienced are your underwriters? How many years has this lender been in business? What percentage of loans that are approved actually close on time?”

Beyond figuring out how a mortgage and down payments work, when it comes to buying your first house, it can be hard to know what questions you should be asking, especially once you start looking at homes. Asking the right questions and taking time to do your research may seem like a long and painstaking process, but it can help ensure that you really do find the right house for you.

Questions to ask when buying a house:

How Much Money Do I Need to Buy a House?

Should I Pay Off Debt Before Buying a House?

How Do I Get a Mortgage?

First-Time Homebuyer Guide

A complete guide for first-time homebuyers including key terms, the step-by-step process of buying a house, and helpful FAQs.

Download
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