First Time Homebuyers – Do’s and Don’ts
So, the time has come and you are looking at buying your first home. Congratulations!
Being able to buy your first home is one of the most rewarding feelings you will ever get to experience. It is a moment you dream about and have been looking forward to for most of your adult life. But, be weary. Yes, buying a home can be very exciting, but it can also be extremely stressful. A house is a huge purchase and a serious commitment. Finding the right property can be a challenge.
The home buying process is the epitome of an emotional roller coaster. The current real estate market has buyers and sellers happy. Don’t let that happiness turn into a financial disaster! That is why I have come up with a list of some Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind when you are on the hunt.
DON’T GO FOR THE FIXER-UPPER
I know we hear that buying a home that you can make your own is more rewarding than just buying any other house. And I’m sure it is. However; keep in mind that repairs can cost a lot of money.
Think about it. You just bought your first house. So now you have a mortgage to pay.
By buying a fixer-upper, you are only adding to the monthly cost of the home. And that’s not all.
When you buy a fixer-upper, you can say goodbye to most of your weekends. Rather than enjoying life in your new home, you will be spending most of your free time actually working on the home.
So now you are broke and always busy working on the house and the experience of buying your first home has become this stressful nightmare.
DON’T GO FOR THE MOST EXPENSIVE HOUSE YOU SEE
I mean, this one is pretty self-explanatory. When you set out to buy a home, you are making a serious financial commitment, in many situations, a 15 or 30 year mortgage is attached.
If you buy a house that you really can’t afford, you will be stuck with that high monthly mortgage for a long time. You will constantly be worried about money and being able to write that check once a month. And believe me, a stressful life is not fun. At all.
DO FIND A HAPPY MEDIUM
When you are looking for that perfect house, just keep in mind that this is a commitment. Find a house with a price that you are comfortable with paying for a while. Also make sure that you can enjoy your new home without having to work on it every day. Not every house you come across will fit in that margin of being a happy medium, so don’t give up after house two or three. Keep the search up until you find something that you can live with (and in!) happily and stress-free!
This brings us to our next huge don’t.
DON’T LOOK WITHOUT A BUDGET
We have all been there before. We go shopping and find something we just fall in love with…until we look at the price tag. Then we drop our heads and slowly walk away.
That is why you are house shopping, you need to have a budget in mind. And by budget, I don’t just mean the house price.
Keep in mind what you are willing to pay overall. This includes the mortgage, any house repairs, Home Owner Association fees, and any kind of insurance we may need. All of this can add up to big bucks. So when purchasing a home, think about all of the little things that will end up costing you.
How can you avoid any surprise costs?
DO TALK TO YOUR BANK AND REALTOR
By keeping an open communication with your bank and your realtor, you can almost guarantee a smooth process.
By talking to your bank, you can see how much of a loan you are eligible for and what you can actually afford (yes, these are two very different things). Now you can go into the house buying scene confidently.
When you keep an open communication with your realtor and giving them your strict budget, they can work with you by showing houses within your budget.
That way, you can prevent from walking into a house you love only to leave disappointed because it is way above your budget.
Decide on a Neighborhood
The best neighborhoods hold value. With the assistance of a REALTOR, it is good to narrow down your home search to a couple different neighborhoods first. Each neighborhood or subdivsion will contain similarly priced homes for sale. Choose a neighborhood that goes to a good school system. Even if you don’t have children, a great school system has tremendous value if you decide to sell your home in the future. Choosing your neighborhood early lets you focus your efforts and saves a tremendous amount of time.
As a recap, talk to your bank and find your budget, make sure your realtor knows how much you can spend and trust them in helping you mind your happy medium.
By keeping all of these little tips in mind you take out some of the stress that comes with buying your first home. Good luck, and again, congratulations.
Things NOT to do When Buying Your First Home