Buying your first home is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make in your life. It goes without saying that tomorrow depend on the choices that you make today, so read on to find out 10 genius tips that will help you make your future house… the best decision ever!
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- Save money first.
You will be needing cash for a down payment, closing costs, and of course, moving expenses. Even before you start looking at home, you should already have saved enough money to make a 20% cash down payment on your dream home.
- Set your affordability status.
Identify your budget. Determine how much you can pay and research your options. Get pre-approved. Your chances of acquiring a better mortgage rate depends on your credit score, so it is also wise to refrain from getting other types of loans and credit obligations while buying your first home.
- Look for additional sources of funding such as grants and other assistance programs.
You may be surprised at the generous income limits set for 1st time home buyers. Explore before you think you are not qualified, because you may actually be qualified for a number of programs. There are federal assistance programs, state assisted loans, and tax credits which are available for first time home buyers, so take advantage of these opportunities.
- Hire a buyer’s agent to help you with the house hunting.
The real estate agent will help you throughout the home buying process. Get a local agent who knows the area well, and can provide you with priceless information such as getting the heads up on an upcoming listing before it even hits the market. You will also get full support during the negotiations, saving you a significant amount of money and time in the process.
- Make a checklist of all the things that you are looking for in a home.
Be sure to bring the list to every house that you visit. It’s important to ask yourself questions such as is having an extra room better than having a bigger kitchen? Will you choose a further location for additional space or a lower price? It is hard to find a perfect home, but if you are willing to compromise some, you will find the right one for you.
- Choose a property that will still be desirable in the future.
How do you see yourself in the next few years? Are you planning to settle down and have kids someday? Is it possible that you may rent out or sell the house in the future? Whatever your plans may be, it is wise and prudent to choose a neighborhood that is family-friendly, peaceful, and easily accessible.
- Have a complete presence of mind during the open house.
Is the home too staged? Remove the distractions and visualize the look of the house if it is empty. Check the number of power outlets and storage areas. Sometimes artificial lighting masks the fact that there is limited natural light inside the house. Study if the floor plan makes sense and if there is enough space for moving around comfortably.
- Calculate and compare the entire cost of choosing the home.
Is the house move-in ready, or does it need renovations to fit your specifications? Additional costs may overwhelm you in the future, so think twice about getting a house that’s actually “a project”. A little re-painting or some carpet change wouldn’t hurt your expenses that much though.
- Be there at the pre-purchase inspection to see the real condition of the house.
Do not hesitate to ask questions. Some areas of the house may still look okay, but may need to be repaired or replaced soon. Outdated kitchens and bathrooms are usually deal breakers, as these areas may hide impending plumbing problems that may turn up once you have moved in.
- Get homeowner’s insurance with the right coverage.
Carefully compare the rates when buying homeowner’s insurance. You may be choosing a lower priced policy that offers only a few protections. Depending on your location, it would be best to get enough coverage protection for any unexpected property damage, additional living expenses, personal liability, and more.
With a reliable real estate agent by your side, you can avoid the pitfalls which are commonly experienced by unguided homebuyers. If you’re interested in being informed before making that big investment, call me or send a message to my email so I can help you with the entire home-buying process.