There is much to do before a first-time homebuyer accepts...

There is much to do before a first-time homebuyer accepts the keys to the new castle. Credit: Getty Images / iStockphoto

There are few things as thrilling and terrifying as buying your first home. This spring, property virgins will hunt for the perfect place.

What awaits them? “While there is not an excessive amount of new inventory, pricing on new homes is still very favorable. Mortgage rates are incredibly low,” says Michael Puntillo, president of Jobco Realty & Construction in Great Neck.

But before they hit the pavement, there’s plenty to do.

How much mortgage can you handle?

Sit down with a loan officer to determine how much you can afford, based on your income, assets and liabilities. For newbies, the added cost of running a household — repairs, homeowner’s insurance, and maintenance — can be a shock.

Get preapproved for a loan.

Consider a buyer’s agent.

“You have the right to representation like the seller. It doesn’t cost anything. The buyer’s agent is paid a portion of the seller’s agent’s commission,” says Dustin Cohen, an associate attorney with Davidoff Hutcher & Citron in Garden City.

Investigate programs.

It can be tough to get that first mortgage. NEFCU in Westbury is just one of several lenders offering programs for young buyers.

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