Buying your first home is an incredible feeling that’s bound to stay with you for a long time. However, the home buying process can be daunting and overwhelming, especially for a first-timer. Are you a first-time homebuyer? If yes, here are some crucial tips to help make the buying process easier.
1. The Type of Home
House hunting is unarguably the first thing to tick off the checklist for first-home buyers. Before you commence your house hunt, determine the type of home that suits your specific needs and specified price range. Today, many first-time homebuyers turn to reputable realtors to help them find their choice homes. In most cases, the home seller pays the real estate broker commission while the home buyer agrees to pay the realtor a fee for representing them. Make sure you opt for a realtor or agent with a solid reputation in the real estate industry.
2. Home Features
While there’s no such thing as a perfect home, you can find a home that meets your expectations as closely as possible. That said, it makes sense to conduct a home inspection on any property your agent shows you. If you don’t have the time to do so yourself, you can hire a home inspector to inspect on your behalf.
Make a detailed list of the features you want in your dream house, like size and neighborhood, bathroom layout, and home appliances. Remember that these features significantly impact the purchase price. If you’re on a tight budget, you can find a home with reduced features to save money on the house price.
There are essential features that must be available to make the home comfortable for you. For example, an ideal home should have an efficient and reliable HVAC system. Having a good air conditioning unit installed in your home ensures a steady supply of cool air during hot summer months. If you decide to purchase a home with an AC already installed, try to schedule prompt air AC repairs to prevent your unit from breaking down completely. It’s also a good idea to have your ductwork checked to ensure the free flow of air into the home.
Going on a house hunt is one thing; it’s another thing to afford your desired house. When it comes to finding your dream home, you must get your finances in order. Before you settle on a home, securing the necessary financing for the home purchase is critical. The average cost of homeownership varies according to the type of home you want to buy. Generally speaking, the purchase process is usually cost-intensive. Some everyday housing expenses include property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance costs, and interest payments.
You’ll also require financing for the down payment and closing costs. Additionally, you need to set up an emergency fund to cover your monthly expenses for about three to six months after signing the purchase agreement. Want to know how to finance large home improvement projects like buying a new house? Consider taking a home equity loan or home equity line of credit. More so, it would help if you had a good credit score and a credit history of early payment of bills to qualify for a home loan.
Take a hard look at what you currently pay as rent. That should give you an idea of what you can afford to set aside for monthly mortgage payments. Also, find a mortgage lender willing to offer you a lower interest rate and accept payments in installments.
4. Your Budget
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer on how to find your dream home. Once you’ve considered your finance options and secured financing, the next step is to set a realistic budget. Your budget determines how much you are willing to spend on a home purchase, irrespective of your desired features.
Ideally, your real estate agent is expected to represent you in the buying process. Before making an offer to the home seller, take a holistic look at your budget. When setting your budget, remember to factor in closing costs, repair service costs, and other mandatory fees. Also, try not to overlook hidden costs like private mortgage insurance, association levies, and property taxes.
5. The Purchase Agreement
Once an agreement is reached, the seller’s agent will present you with a purchase agreement. By now, the seller must have taken the house off the market with an expectation that you’ll move ahead with the deal barring any last-minute changes. If you feel you’re ready to close after the home inspection, make sure you have all the paperwork vetted by a reputable real estate lawyer.
The idea behind hiring a lawyer is to mitigate a significant problem in the future. Closing a deal can be overwhelming, considering it involves much paperwork, including mortgage agreement, title insurance, survey paperwork, and property taxes.
Make sure you get a go-ahead from your lawyer before you sign on the dotted line. The final step is to do whatever it takes to ensure your home’s current value doesn’t diminish. Your home’s value plays a critical role in how much you can get for it should you decide to put it up for sale.