Noisy neighbors upstairs? Sick of living in mom and dad’s basement? Whatever your reason for wanting your own home, taking the leap can be both exciting and daunting. Yet, you are not alone, the number of first-time home buyers is growing by the day. And all of them feel quite as lost in a fog of information, prices, advice. We’ll try to help you get over your initial anxiety with a few helpful tips.
While thoughts of white fences and granite countertops might be vivid in your mind, you do not want to be carried off by that dream. This is probably one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, so instead of making an impulse buy, arm yourself with research and a few quality advisers. It can mean the difference between years of loving the home you are in, or wondering how long until you can look for the next one.
Planning Your Purchase
Setting your heart on a beautiful three-bedroom, two-bath estate on a hill could set you up for disappointment if you don’t know what you can afford. Instead of leaving an empty bank account, where your next check will not bounce, you want to sit down and seriously look at your average monthly budget. Take a hard look at what you are spending your money on, everything from your restaurant bills to your dry cleaning bill. Then, figure out what you have left after you pay all of those bills. That is what you’ll have left to spend on your monthly mortgage and home.
If those numbers aren’t adding up to what you want, then take this as a starting point to buckle down and change your spending habits. Skip your daily latte or pack your lunch for a couple months, and see if your budget numbers change for the better.
Create a checklist of your needs and wants. Don’t forget to include things that aren’t actually a part of the house, but are very important, such as the neighborhood, commute and even proximity to entertainment options, like restaurants, coffee shops and supermarkets.
Since most people aren’t going to pay for their house in cash at the closing table, you are probably going to have to take out some type of loan or mortgage. It is also always recommendable to use trusted escrow services to make sure that your transaction is safely executed. Examine all terms and amounts to get a better understanding of what’s really the best deal for you.
Real Estate Agents
Your real estate agent is your insider to the world of home buying, and the right agent can be a real asset to have on your side when buying your first home. You want someone you can trust and who will give you quality advice when you need it. So, talk to people you already trust. Friends and family members in the area might be able to offer some names of people they have used.
Many real estate agents specialize in certain areas of town or types of property, so ask your prospective agents how many homes they’ve sold in your target area or what type of certifications they hold to see if they fit your needs.
You have found the house of your dreams, and are ready to start the process of making it your own. Well, all that begins with making an offer. While there’s no way to know exactly what type of offer the seller will accept, when making yours, you should take into account several things. Remember that negotiation is usually inevitable, so be sure to leave some space within that first offer.
Buying your first home is a big step and make sure that you take into account all the variables only to make the best possible decision.