5 things 1st-time homebuyers should know before taking the plunge

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Phoenix home prices continue to outpace wages. On average, home prices in Phoenix jumped seven percent in the past year. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Phoenix home prices continue to outpace wages. On average, home prices in Phoenix jumped seven percent in the past year. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

By John Gulch, gluchgroup.com

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - With a tight housing market, especially for starter homes, buying your first house is getting more difficult.

Phoenix home prices continue to outpace wages. On average, home prices in Phoenix jumped seven percent in the past year.

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There are five things first-time homebuyers should know before buying that first house.

1. Get started!

One of the biggest mistakes I see first-time homebuyers make is they get their financing in order and research houses, but never buy because they get bogged down in the details or get scared. Don't overthink it! Find a good realtor who can worry about the details and buy a home. In my experience, the list of people who regret not buying a house is much longer than the list of people who regret buying a home.

2. Buy within your means 

Figure out what you can afford. Don't overextend yourself. The homes that aren't super expensive are the ones that are appreciating the fastest. Sticking to your budget, or even the lower end of your price range, will be a sound investment now and in the future.

3. Buy for today

Many first-time buyers want to buy their forever home. But on average, people sell after seven years. Instead of trying to find the perfect home for the life you want 15 or 20 years from now, buy the home that fits the phase of life you are in right now.

4. Determine what is important

This can be harder than it seems, but it's often the first thing we ask our buyers at the Gluch Group. You need to ask yourself what do I care about more, location or the condition of a home? The answer is going to drive your search. Once you've answered that question, stick to it as best you can. Don't be seduced by a brand new house that's not in a neighborhood you like or when it's an hour-long commute to work. In the end, you will not be happy with that purchase.

5. Be flexible 

We are always telling our clients at the Gluch Group that buying a house is a process, not an event. The clearer your checklist for what makes a good house, the better, but you also have to be flexible. Knowing what is important to you will help you figure out how to rank those priorities as well.

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