Wow, it seems like it was only yesterday when you were packing your things from the room where you spent your childhood, and now…here you are thinking of planting your roots somewhere and planning to buy your first home. Congratulations! This is a big milestone, so allow us to help you out.
In this article, we are going to talk about the different things that you need to know before buying your first house. Let’s get started!
1. Looking for Your Ideal Home Starts With Your Personal Goals
It’s always best to think long term when buying a house, especially when deciding on its location. What are your goals? Do you want it to be near a business district? Is it within a school district? How about a hospital? Is it in a place where you can imagine your family thriving in and you, growing old in? And most of all, is it safe?
Once you’ve narrowed down the neighborhoods, it’s time to start hunting for the actual property. There are three ways to do this: you can either search for it online on your own, hire a real estate agent, or both! We prefer doing both since it increases your chances of finding the most ideal place for you.
Don’t forget your personal wishlist as well. We all have those non-compromisable items such as a room that can serve as a home office that gets a lot of natural lighting, a swimming pool, a basement that can serve as a Dungeons & Dragons man cave…everyone has one. What’s yours?
2. You Need to Settle All Your Finances
Buying a house is not a simple purchase and applying for a mortgage is quite a complicated process. According to Loanstart, if you’re pretty strapped on expenses, then you consider getting personal loans with fair credit. A fair credit score is anything between 620 and 680. If your credit score is in this range, it may be caused by your short credit history. Among possible reasons can also be your late payments of the bills in the past. Also, having a lot of debt can drive down your score.
You should also take your savings into consideration. What most budding homeowners fail to realize is the fact that owning a home can be much more expensive than renting due to the upkeep costs. Hence, in order to avoid debt, it’s always a good idea to set-up an emergency fund equivalent to at least six months of your salary. To protect yourself from yourself, don’t store your down payment money in your ordinary bank account. Try an account with separate savings or a money market account instead.
And finally, you should settle (and actually STICK to) a price range that you can realistically pay-off. Try to compute a rough estimation of how much your down payment will cost. In this way, you can already start saving up for it during your house search. While we’re already in the subject, let’s move on to the exciting part!
3. More “Affordable” Properties Sometimes Come With a Heavier Price
There are a lot of things that you should consider a property other than its selling price. Here are some red flags that you should avoid:
- Apparent damage to the structure of the property. Do the exteriors and foundations have any cracks? Are they tilted to a certain angle? These small details, when overlooked, can sometimes lead to the demolition and rebuilding of the entire property.
- Water damage, such as mold formations, is a serious health and safety risk. Black molds create air impurities that are terribly unhealthy to inhale and at the same time, they can also weaken a property’s foundations.
- Beware of noise and smell “masks”. Noise and weird smells can significantly affect your quality of life, so if every room has a burning candle and some music playing, then chances are your seller or agent is probably masking something out.
In the end, you just have to be very vigilant. It’s you and your family’s life we’re talking about here and so much money potentially at stake. Anyway, once you’ve found the house, you know what’s next!
4. The Entire House Buying Process is a Long And Tedious Affair
Expect to have long nights ahead, from determining the right type of mortgage and loan up to the closing process. Just make sure to perform all the necessary research and don’t be afraid to ask your agent or your lawyer if there are any terms that you can’t quite grasp before you sign anything.
There are several reasons why it’s extremely important that when you’re buying a house that you hire an agent. Since a buyers agent is looking out for a buyers best interest, they’ll help ensure the buyer gets the best deal possible. An agent will also provide expert help to avoid potential problems such as border disputes, tax issues, etc.
A lawyer will help you in preparing purchase documents and will support you through different laws related to real estate. So, you can avoid legal problems concerning your purchase.
5. Consider The Future of Everyone Who’s Going to Live Within Those Doors
Finally, when buying a house should not just consider your future in that house, but the future of all your household with whom you are going to live. Here are a few more questions that you can ask yourself before signing any binding document:
- Is this place going to accommodate the path I want to take my career to?
- How are the community and culture of this location?
- Will there be enough space for future expansions according to the size of the family we’re planning?
- Will I be able to increase the value of this property just in case our family needs to move again in the future?
No one can predict what will happen tomorrow, but by keeping these tips in mind, we are confident that you and your family are already a step closer to the home that you’ve always dreamed of.