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10 Tips for the First-Time Vermont Homebuyer

Realtor with Clients in home

As you embark on the home buying process for the first time it can feel exciting while also slightly overwhelming. That’s why it is important to get prepared before you start searching for a Vermont home.

1. Set realistic expectations

Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you’ll make in your life. While it’s okay to be particular, don’t be unrealistic. The perfect home doesn’t exist, however it is important to ensure that the compromises made won’t leave you searching for a new home in the near future.

2. Do your homework

Before you start looking at Vermont real estate you will want to decide specifically what features you want in a property. For example, are you looking for a seasonal cottage or a year-round lakefront home? After that, prioritize your home wishlist and rank which criteria is most important to you.

3. Get your finances in order

Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover your downpayment and your closing costs. If you have more questions about how to finance your purchase we can recommend several lenders.

4. Don’t wait to get a loan

Talk to a lender and get prequalified for a mortgage before you start looking at Vermont real estate.. This will help to give you a better idea of how much you may be able to borrow which in turn will help you determine how much you can spend on a home. Once you find a home you want to make an offer on, tell your lender.

5. Limit feedback from others

Buying a home is very personal. That being said, be careful not to ask too many people for opinions, after all you are the one who will be living in the home! Select one or two people to turn to if you feel like you are in need of a second opinion.

6. Decipher your timeline

It is important to figure out when you could actually move out of your current living situation. When is your lease up? Are you allowed to sublet? How tight is the rental market in your area? Keep in mind that once an offer is accepted it takes 45-60 days to close on a property.

7. Think long-term

Are you looking for a starter house with the idea of moving up in a few years or do you hope to stay in this home longer? This decision may dictate what type of home you’ll buy as well as type of mortgage terms that suit you best.

8. Don’t let yourself be house poor

If you max yourself out to buy the most expensive home you can afford, you’ll have no money left for maintenance, decor, or to save money for other financial goals.

9. Don’t be naïve

Make sure to have a home inspection, be critical of the age and condition of appliances and systems, and get a septic inspection. As a buyer, you need to be confident in your purchase and factor in any repairs or cost you may have to do after you own the home. 

10. Get help from a local realtor

Consider hiring a Vermont REALTOR® as a buyer’s representative. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a buyer’s representative is working only for you. And often, buyer’s reps are paid out of the seller’s commission payment.

Ready to start your search for your first home? Schedule a buyer consultation with a Vermont real estate professional today or start getting to know the real estate market in your desired area with our MLS Search tool.

Other Resources:

State of Vermont: Resources for Homeowners

Vermont Housing Finance Agency

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