Realtor.com has some advice on affordability options for first-time homebuyers.
Know Your Market
Having an idea of the particular area you want to live is the first step toward finding the right home for you, and communicating this information to your realtor is key. Many buyers look for homes in areas that are convenient to their work commute, particular school districts, or other appealing aspects of the neighborhood.
Explaining where you want to live, and why you want to live there to your realtor will help them narrow their search. They may be able to find a home in an area you hadn’t considered that meets both your needs and your budget.
Shift Your Priorities
If your desire to live in a specific neighborhood is the major deciding factor when looking for your first home, you may have to compromise on other things. For example, choosing a smaller home with less bedrooms or square footage could make it possible for you to become a resident of your dream neighborhood. Condominiums are also a great option, as they are typically less costly and require less maintenance.
Your realtor can also look into homes that have been on the market longer than other listings in the same area. There’s a number of reasons why some homes stay on the market while others are sold quickly, such as being priced too highly for the current market. The seller may be willing to lower their asking price in order to sell the house.
Consider a Fixer-Upper
Most homebuyers overlook houses that require a bit of work, but a fixer-upper could be just what you’re looking for. Houses that require a bit of cosmetic work, like a fresh paint job or new carpeting, often sell for less because of the money that needs to be put into making repairs. Having a home inspection performed could give you an idea of the cost that would go into bringing the house up to snuff, and give you an idea of how much money you could save with the purchase.