First-time homebuyers posing in front of their new home

5 Essential Tips for First-Time Homebuyers in Idaho

Buying your first home is a big financial step for any individual or family. Your first home is not just a place to live; it is property, equity, a new status, and a step up in the financial world. You will be choosing your permanent nesting place, and for many, your first house is where you plan to have children. As first-time homebuyers, your home will shape your experience of homeownership, your future resale or investment opportunities, and of course your life as you move in. 

The Idaho housing market is tight, with high demand and fewer homes on the market than buyers looking to buy. This has created increasing demand and buyers should be ready to move fast on homes they love as they come on the market. For first-time homebuyers, your best approach is to prepare for a lively house long before your deadline to close. The market is high competition, but you can succeed if you move with confidence and follow a few strategic steps.

Here are the top five tips for first-time homebuyers in Idaho


1. Get Your Mortgage Pre-Approved and Ready to Go

Before your first bid on a home, secure your pre-approved mortgage. Find a lender, ideally near your destination region, who will approve a mortgage within your homebuying budget. Go through the application and approval process. Then ask your lender to provide a letter of pre-approval to show sellers. This proves that you have the financial means to back up any home offers you make. You can also ask for a custom pre-approval letter for each bid and property to manage your negotiation position and refine your contract.

2. Determine Your Must-Haves and Deal-Breakers with Virtual Touring

What do you want in a house? Most first-time homebuyers really get a feel for their must-haves, deal-breakers, and preferences when they start touring homes. You can start with a list of things you think of off-hand but as you tour, you think “I love the windows in that living room” for one house and “I really don’t like that kind of kitchen cabinet” in another. This helps you refine what is really your ideal home design and where you will be happiest living.

Fortunately, you don’t have to tour a few dozen houses to lock down your preferences, not with the virtual 3D touring trend. Explore home floorplans and walkthroughs online and take notes to ensure that when you do see your Idaho dream house on the market, you’re ready to move fast.

3. Partner With a Real Estate Agent in Your Destination Area

Get in touch with a real estate agent in the region where you want to buy. Talk together and build a rapport as you explain the kind of house you’re looking to buy. A real estate agent and their brokerage team can then help keep an eye on the market to let first-time homebuyers know when those ideal homes are available to assess and bid on. Then, when you find the right home, your agent will help refine your bid and streamline the offer, negotiation, and closing process.

4. Have a Local Home Inspector on Call

When you find an appealing home on the market, always schedule an inspection before making a bid. To do this swiftly (and move faster than other buyers) have a local third-party home inspector on call to inspect within a week of contacting the seller. This can help speed along your process and protect you, as first-time homebuyers, from lemons while staying competitive with other local buyers.

5. Be Ready to Move Fast on Ideal Homes That Enter the Market

Finally, be ready to move fast. The market is hot and Idaho homes are being bought almost as fast as they enter the market. For first-time homebuyers, your best bet is to watch the market and move swiftly to contact, inspect, and bid on properties that fit your dream-home criteria.

Looking for the perfect home in Idaho? Contact us today to get in touch with our local real estate team and start your Idaho house hunt in earnest.

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