Owning a home is one of the biggest milestones in life, and it can be both exciting and overwhelming. But it can be daunting for first-time buyers. However, it can be a smooth and exciting process with the right preparation and resources. Columbus is a great place to call home with its vibrant culture, diverse communities, and thriving economy. If you are a homebuyer in Columbus, Ohio, you have come to the right place. 

This beginner guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to make informed decisions and navigate the homeownership journey with confidence. From understanding the local real estate market to securing financing and closing the deal, we have got you covered. So, let us get started!


Columbus Real Estate Market

Columbus is a great place to live, work, and play. It has everything from historic neighborhoods to cool coffee shops to the best of the best in arts and culture. And it is also the home of one of the country’s hottest housing markets according to a housing report from Columbus Realtors. 

If you are looking for a place to call home, Columbus is an ideal choice.

It is the capital of Ohio and home to more than 906,000 people (and growing rapidly). It is great for anyone who wants to live in a city that offers the amenities of a larger city while still having plenty of room to breathe, commute, and enjoy things like yard space or neighborhoods.

In 2022, the city had one of the top ten biggest housing markets, and in that same year, the expected sales will increase by 13.7% and prices by 6.3%. Columbus has a limited housing supply and a combination of jobs, services, good schools, and a thriving economy that make it a desirable place to live, contributing to its hot housing market.

Here are a few highlights of the Columbus real estate listings;

  • The median home sales price is in a reachable range of $126,000-$159,000, but prices are predicted to rise 3.5% over the next year.
  • With a median household income of $59,000, higher than the national average, Columbus is a desirable location for homeownership.
  • Columbus is ranked as one of the top ten best suburbs in the U.S. for job access, making it an ideal location for job seekers.
  • Young professionals are flocking to Columbus due to its affordability and a strong job market, making it an easy place to get your start.


Ready to Own a Home in Columbus? Consider These Factors

Before you start house hunting, you must step back and consider all aspects of your future home purchase. This new home buyers guide will cover everything from budget and location to lifestyle needs and market trends, making informed decisions can ensure your investment is a smart one. 


What Type of Home do you Want?

Before deciding to purchase a home in Columbus, it’s important to consider the type of home that you need. There are several different types of homes available on the market, each with its unique features and benefits. The type of home that you choose will depend on a variety of factors, including your family size, budget, and lifestyle preferences. Do you want a single-family home with a large yard for your children to play in, or are you looking for a low-maintenance condominium or townhome that is closer to the city’s amenities? Understanding your needs and lifestyle will help you determine the best type of home to purchase.

Single-family homes are typically larger and offer more space and privacy, while townhomes and condominiums are smaller and more affordable. Additionally, single-family homes often have yards, making them ideal for families with children or pets. On the other hand, condominiums are often located closer to urban amenities and offer a low-maintenance lifestyle, making them ideal for young professionals or those who are downsizing.


What Features do you Want in Home?

It is generally vital to maintaining flexibility while looking for a home. However, it is important to consider specific features that are important to you and your family. Some popular features to consider include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, location, backyard space, and proximity to amenities such as schools, parks, and shopping centers. Additionally, you may also want to consider a home’s age and overall condition, as well as whether it has been updated with modern amenities like a new kitchen, new appliances, or a finished basement.


Are You Prepared Financially?

Purchasing a home in Columbus involves a significant upfront cost, including down payment (typically 3.5% to 20% of the purchase price) and closing expenses. For this reason, having a solid savings plan is crucial. If your goal of homeownership is in the short term (1 to 3 years), consider keeping your savings in a safe and accessible investment option that offers a return. Options such as certificates of deposit (CDs), short-term bonds, or a fixed-income portfolio provide modest growth while protecting your savings from stock market volatility.

If your home purchase is imminent (in the next six months to a year), it is best to keep your savings liquid. A high-yield savings account is a suitable option, but make sure it is FDIC insured for added protection. In case of bank failure, FDIC insurance covers up to $250,000 per depositor.


Who Will Help You Find a Home?

Finding and buying a home in Columbus requires professional guidance and a real estate agent can provide that. They will help you search for homes that fit your criteria and budget and accompany you to view them. After choosing a home, a real estate agent can assist first-time home-buyers in Columbus and negotiate the purchase, including making an offer, securing a loan, and handling paperwork.

An experienced real estate agent offers valuable expertise, protecting you from any potential complications during the buying process. It is worth noting that most real estate agents earn a commission from the seller’s proceeds.


Making your First Home Purchase: Understand the Terms

First-time homebuyers should be familiar with special terms that apply to their situation. These terms include:

  • First-time homebuyer programs: Many cities and states offer special programs to help first-time homebuyers with down payments, closing costs, and other expenses.
  • Pre-approval: This is a letter from a lender indicating how much you can afford to borrow and your ability to repay a mortgage. Pre-approval is a critical step in the home-buying process, as it gives you a clear idea of your budget and what you can afford.
  • Down payment: This is the upfront payment made by the buyer, usually ranging from 3.5% to 20% of the purchase price.
  • Closing costs: These are expenses associated with purchasing a home, such as appraisal fees, title insurance, and loan origination fees. Closing costs can add up to several thousand dollars, so it is essential to prepare for these costs.
  • FHA loan: A loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration that allows first-time home-buyers to purchase a home with as little as 3.5% down.

By familiarizing themselves with these terms, first-time homebuyers can make informed decisions and feel more confident throughout the home-buying process.


The Bottom Line

In conclusion, buying a home in Columbus is a significant investment that requires careful consideration and planning. Start by determining the type of home that fits your needs and budget, and ensure you have sufficient savings to cover the upfront costs and closing expenses. Working with a reputable real estate agent can make the home-buying process smoother, and more manageable. Additionally, keep in mind the special terms available for first-time homebuyers and make use of the resources available to you. With a careful guide to buying a house in Columbus and the right team of professionals, you can take the first step toward realizing your dream of homeownership.

Sign up to receive news and updates from Embark Real Estate Group.