Top Tips for Buying a Home in Cincinnati, Ohio: A First-Time Buyer's Guide

Top Tips for Buying a Home in Cincinnati, Ohio: A First-Time Buyer's Guide

Cincinnati, OH, boasts a vibrant cultural scene, professional sports, theaters, art galleries, museums, and unique local foods. However, its housing market remains affordable even with all its big-city amenities. In July 2023, Cincy's median home sales price was only around $290,000, compared to the national median of $410,200.

So, if you're planning to purchase a home in Cincinnati, know that it could be a wise decision. However, you must do your due diligence to ensure you buy the right property and avoid buyer's remorse.

We've shared some home-buying tips to help you get started, so read on.

1. Research Neighborhoods

Make a list of vital factors you want your future neighborhood to have. Depending on your priorities, these could be:

  • Proximity to your workplace and your kids' schools
  • Closeness to essential services (e.g., police and fire departments and hospitals)
  • Local conveniences (e.g., shopping, dining, and entertainment)

You should also consider the neighborhoods' safety and crime ratings. According to AreaVibes, Hyde Park, Oakley, Clifton, and Mount Lookout are some of Cincy's safest areas.

2. Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval

A mortgage pre-approval gives you an idea of how much a lender will willingly lend you. It also reassures sellers of your qualifications and readiness to purchase a home. So, ensure you get one before you start house-hunting.

To apply for a mortgage pre-approval, you must prepare your bank statements, employment details, and pay stubs.

3. Save for a Down Payment

The standard, traditional down payment is 20% of a home's selling price. So, if the property you want to buy costs $250,000, you must put $50,000 down.

You don't have to shell out that much if you qualify for conventional mortgages or FHA loans. These options require lower down payment amounts.

However, you should still aim to save enough for a 20% down payment to avoid the need for private mortgage insurance. Plus, the bigger your down payment, the less you'd have to borrow, and the lower your mortgage debt.

4. Start House-Hunting

Once you know your home-buying budget, you can check out Cincinnati homes for sale. It's also the time to think about non-negotiables vs. nice-to-haves. Non-negotiables are essential features, while nice-to-haves are more like wants you can still do without.

For example, let's say you'd like to enter Cincy's short-term rental market. You plan to offer part of your property as a vacation rental. A non-negotiable may be a larger land area to extend your home to accommodate guests.

On the other hand, nice-to-haves may include a modern kitchen, a shed, solar panels, or a massive backyard. It would be great if your new home would have them, but if not, you must be willing to compromise.

Follow These Home-Buying Tips

Research neighborhoods, get pre-approved for a mortgage, and save for a down payment before you start house-hunting. If you follow these home-buying tips, you can have a more enjoyable experience as a first-time buyer.

If you want to make your purchase smoother, PMI Gatekeeper Realty Services can help. Our full-service real estate asset management company can help you find homes for sale in Cincinnati and manage your property. We're also a proud franchise of PMI, a national company with over two decades of property management experience.

So, if you're ready to start the home-buying process, call us today! We'll happily assist you in finding your dream home.