6 Steps for the First Time Home Buyer


Buying your first home is one of the biggest financial steps that you will ever make and it is important to take this decision seriously. You need to take the time prepare yourself in every aspect in order to make your home a blessing, and not a negative experience. Here are the basic steps that you should follow when it is time to buy your first home.

1.) Get your finances in check

Banks and lenders review your income, debt, and credit utilization. Try to keep your debt to income ratio low and avoid new credit applications, several credit checks in short periods of time can significantly lower your credit score.


2.) Save save save

If you aren’t already, try to set aside 10-20% of every paycheck. Not only will this help you save for a larger down payment, but it could also help you cover other large expenses such as appraisal costs, home inspections, and closing costs. This is also a good habit to keep after buying a home in case of those unexpected home repairs.


3.) Loan shop, be honest about what you can afford

Getting a home mortgage is challenging, especially for first-time home buyers.Take the time to shop for a loan. You should contact at least three people before you decide which loan to take. A mortgage broker will look at several different loan companies to find you the best rates. Also, your small local bank or credit union may have options that will save you money as well. A good rule of thumb is to keep your mortgage, taxes, and insurance between 25 and 30 percent of your income.


4.) Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Getting preapproved for a home loan gives you perspective on how much home you can afford and helps narrows down your search, this is why you need to get pre-approved before you start shopping for a home. If you spend too much on your mortgage you may not be able to meet your daily obligations let alone save for retirement. If you are carrying debt (credit card or student loan debt), you should keep your house payments on the lower end of that amount. Just a few things you will need in this process include:

  • Pay stubs
  • Last two years tax returns
  • Last two years W-2’s
  • Most recent bank statements
  • Credit report
  • Statement of all savings accounts/investments

You want to build wealth, not debt with your home purchase. If you make the wrong choice, you may end up hurting yourself financially.. A large down payment can help you avoid future debt and makes it easier to sell if you need to move.


5.) Find a good realtor

Once you have determined how much you can really spend and are pre-approved you should begin to look for a realtor. Your realtor should listen to your wants and needs carefully, they should also be able to make recommendations or explain the market to you to help you find a home that suits your needs and most importantly, that you can afford. This person is going to be vital to making the home buying process a breeze so don’t be ashamed of interviewing a few until you find the one to make your home buying dreams come true.

At Red Door we know a few good realtors. Stop in or give us a call today


6.) Closing

You should be prepared to pay for all of your closing costs out of pocket. This will save you money over time. If you are finding it difficult to save up for closing costs, you may not be ready to purchase a home. Closing costs can cost as much as 2-7% of the home, and many times they catch people off guard.


We wish you the best of luck on your home search and hope that you choose Red Door to help you along the way.  


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The Holidays in Buffalo

As the pages are turning from fall to winter in the Queen City things are only getting more exciting. Events are popping up left and right and many go unnoticed because us Buffalonians are just unsure as to where to find them.

Being a small, local business ourselves, we at Red Door are all for supporting local businesses and events and love to see the Western New York community come together for the holiday season. Below we have listed some of our favorite places to find out about local events; and we have even done some of the work for you by listing some events that caught our eye.


Where to look:

Step out Buffalo





Visit Buffalo Niagara 






Buffalo rising 



All these websites include full details on events, concerts, restaurants, and shopping places for people of all ages. You can find event calendars, and searching stations that allow you to find the exact event you’re looking for. You can even sign up to receive newsletters and notifications when new events pop up around you.

Some events that caught our eye:

Annual Holiday Market

DATE: Saturday, December 9th

10am – 5pm

LOCATION: The Foundry

298 Northhampton Street Buffalo, 14208

Shop for the right Christmas gift while supporting local artisans. Find custom made items such as candles, handbags, jewelry, paintings and screenprinted items.


Sip and Shop: Holiday Market and Basket Raffle 

DATE: Saturday, December 16th

12pm – 8pm

LOCATION: 125 Art Collective

125 Elmwood Ave Buffalo, 14201

Assisted by the Nickel City Renegade Rollergirls, this fun event will allow you to find the perfect gift, and possibly win a basket for yourself! 


WNYBAC’S 10th Annual Last Minute Panic Holiday Marketplace

DATE: Friday, December 15th / 4pm – 8pm – Saturday, December 16th / 11am – 5pm


LOCATION: WNY Book Arts Center

468 Washington St Buffalo, 14203

With over 40 vendors on both floors of the Book Arts Center, you will be sure find many gifts for all those that you are shopping for. Admission and parking is free. 


SantaCon Buffalo 2017

DATE: Saturday, December 9th

1:30pm – 5:30pm

LOCATION:  Chippewa District

W. Chippewa & Franklin St. Buffalo, 14202

SantaCon is a pretty popular festivity, but for those of you that aren’t aware what it is it’s a holiday celebration where people dress up in their most creative Santa Claus outfit and parade bars and streets worldwide.The event is even for a good cause as the admission is $10 plus you are expected to bring a new toy to donate to a child in need. The participating bars include: VENU,  67 West, Bottoms Up, SOHO, D’Arcy McGee’s, Local, Tap House, and Club Marcella.


Cookies for a Cause III

DATE: Saturday, December 16th

1pm – 5pm

LOCATION:  Flying Bison Brewery

840 Seneca St Buffalo, NY14210

 This is the 3rd annual charity cookie exchange hosted by Flying Bison.This years proceeds will benefit the Matt Urban Center. 

A $10 donation gets you a mixed box of cookies to enjoy.
If you bring cookies to exchange (2 dozen minimum) a $5 donation will get you a mixed box of cookies.

There will also be a charity raffle of decorated holiday wreaths along with a brass band playing holiday classics.


We hope that you stop by at these events and show some holiday cheer and Buffalo support. But don’t forget about us at Red Door when you think local. We could help you find your dream home right in the Queen City so you’re only walking distance from these great events. Stop in our office or give us a call today! Happy Holidays!


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