“I believe wherever dreams dwell, the heart calls it home. So may you untangle yourself from the twist of melancholy and lay your thoughts carry you back to the birthplace of your truth.” –Dodinsky.
No truer words have been spoken; we all know home is where the heart is and that no two homes are alike.
A person makes some pretty big purchases throughout their lives; college education definitely tops the list, other purchases like the first car or that fancy wedding reception a person always dreamed of. But none will be so poignant, semi-permanent and financially precipitous as buying the first house.
Even though the first home is a big purchase nothing could beat the elevated feeling of owning your own house- a place where raiding the fridge is a sovereign right and no one can ask you to take off your shoes.
People usually experience great anxiety during the entire process (which is extremely tedious might I add). Experiencing anxiety might as well be a sign that a person is taking the process seriously and understands the gravity of the situation.
Your first home is a big purchase and thus, a bigger risk so, you don’t want to risk messing that up. Thus, various steps ought to be followed during the long-lasting but tremendously rewarding process of buying your first house. The most important if hiring a professional real estate agent, they will help you throughout the process, starting from finding you a home, negotiating a deal and most importantly monitoring the entire progression until the deal is closed. In addition to this, there are various tips that should be considered when you are about to take the biggest decision of your life.
- 0.1 1. Pay off all the preceding Debt and Build an Emergency Fund.
- 0.2 2. Buying a home for tomorrow instead of today
- 0.3 3. Draw up a firm budget
- 0.4 4. Save a down payment
- 0.5 5. Make a list of your non-negotiable
- 0.6 6. Use a professional real estate agent who is well acquainted with the area.
- 0.7 7. Pick the right type of house and neighborhood
- 0.8 8. Ask the realtor about expected closing costs
- 1 Final Words
1. Pay off all the preceding Debt and Build an Emergency Fund.
Owning a home is much more expensive than renting, this is because you are responsible for all the overhead expenses that include the maintenance as well as the upkeep costs; your wooden flooring may need changing or the pipelines need to be fixed, it could be anything and mind you, those can add up real fast. So, make sure you’re debt-free before you even think about buying your first house.
Also, have an emergency fund for a particular period of time of expenses in place.
Also, according to the Nation’s Top Realtors Brokers (America), if you want the smallest mortgage payment possible, opt for a 30-year fixed mortgage. But if you can afford larger monthly payments, you can get a lower interest rate with a 20-year or 15-year fixed loan.
You are going to be extremely stress-free once you get into a home with no payments (besides the mortgage) and also have a pleasant emergency fund. Due to these emergency funds, you will have the money to pay for the massive expenses that unexpectedly come your way.
2. Buying a home for tomorrow instead of today
It’s trouble-free to look at properties that congregate your current needs. But a person must always think about the future when taking such major steps. It may be preferable to buy a larger house now if you plan to start or expand your family so that you can grow into that house. Future needs and wants should be considered deeply before selecting any house.
3. Draw up a firm budget
Drawing up a budget is not the hard part; the hardest part is sticking to it. Before you start browsing, it’s essential that you figure out imperative questions like, what is the most you can afford. What is your price range?
Suppose, you are interested in a house but you are not sure if the house is worth it’s market value then instead of pondering over the very fact continuously and wasting your time would be a stupid thing to do.
Your monthly budget should be in peace with the total mortgage and maintenance costs of the property. Let’s say, you fall in love with a house but its monthly payment is more than you can afford, also keeping in mind all your other fixed expenses, it’s time to move on and keep browsing for the next best option.
The help of your bank’s loan officer can also be enlisted; they can help you arrive at a figure, the amount that a bank can lend you along with their interest rate. This will certainly help you in finding a perfect home for you.
4. Save a down payment
As soon as you realize how much debt you’re about to take on your joyous feelings of fledgling ownership quickly turn to nausea.
Since most millennial working a regular 9 to 5 job are unable to pay the total price of a house in cash it usually isn’t reasonable for the family’s timeline, it is advisable to save at least a down payment of 20% or more.
Most of the time, even a 20% down payment seems out of reach for young people who aim to buy a new house hence, they get attracted towards the lucrative schemes that offer single-digit down payments. These may sound tempting but don’t do them because they will definitely cost you more in the long run.
5. Make a list of your non-negotiable
Have you ever had a déjà vu moment in your life when you just walk into a house and feel that instant connection to the place? A feeling like no other where you just know that that’s where you belong.
According to a survey from Trulia, 51% of first time home buyers regretted something about the home they bought or during the process of choosing it.
Therefore, before you just jump to the conclusion of buying that particular house there are various criteria that are to be kept in mind while choosing you first. You should consider your lifestyle and values before you decide. A various contributing factor that constitutes the non negotiable list ranges from location i.e. the neighborhood where the house is built, square footage, market value, etc.
Making this list would not only help you in making a better choice but would also be extremely helpful to your real estate agent as there is nothing better than knowing exactly what the customer want.
The best way to make this list is to get acquainted with the area, visit open houses in that particular area, visit houses that marginally differ from your budget and have different features. All of this would help you reevaluate your list as you gain a better sense of what you want and what’s out there.
6. Use a professional real estate agent who is well acquainted with the area.
According to statistical research done by the National Association of Realtorsin 2014, fifty-four percent of first time home buyers found their agent either through a reference or sought help from an agent they had worked with before.
Hence, it is advisable to start by asking family, friends or friends of friends who live in that particular area you are interested in for recommendations. If not that, try a professional real estate agent or realtor either through recommendations or from various available and certified websites. It’s essential that you find someone you get along with well because you will be working closely with your real estate agent till you find the house of your dreams.
An efficient real estate agent should be highly skilled and motivated, the realtor should also have good knowledge of the area as that would be a great time saver for you. An experienced estate agent will also have contacts for loan officers and real-estate attorneys, which would certainly help you and can offer tips going in.
7. Pick the right type of house and neighborhood
Some people may want a big master bedroom or a big yard but all these things are secondary, the primary contributors to buying a new house are – distance to the market, type of locality or neighborhood.
. While your estate agent has a fiduciary responsibility to correspond to your interests, they also have a financial inducement in closing you quickly. That means you need to aware yourself in order to know what you are looking for and the amount you should be paying for your home.
Sometimes people notice that even if the home is right, the neighborhood is not what they wanted or it is not the type they wanted their kids to grow up in. So be sure to Look at local safety and crime statistics, Map the nearest hospital, pharmacy, grocery store and other amenities you’ll use.
You should also research nearby schools or colleges if you have kids or are planning to start a family or already have one. Even if you don’t have kids, the areas with schools nearby are considered better for living in as they affect the home value in a positive way. Check out comparable apartments and houses in the area to get an idea of pricing.
8. Ask the realtor about expected closing costs
“Today’s market is a seller’s market. The sellers end up selling the house for a higher price than the initial listed cost due to low inventory and high bidding wars.
Closing costs vary wildly as they differ from place to place and are variably affected by many contributing factor. Typically, they include the cost of hiring a real estate attorney to look at the entire procedure of buying a house and it also includes the payment of a home evaluator to assess the house before the sale. The closing cost doesn’t include your personal packing and moving costs.
This extremely tedious process can be very frustrating and stressful, but once you enter your new house, your own house! You can breathe an all-encompassing sigh of relief. You have a reliable insurance policy and shiny new keys to a place that you now call home.
So, yes you can feel as giddy as a kid who just had his favorite ice cream but much more responsible and content. Now is definitely the time to celebrate!
Another piece of important advice, as you are shopping for your first home and getting all keyed up about decorating your home as you have always wanted to, buying new furniture, carpets, wallpapers, don’t forget the second tip, be watchful of your budget. Happy shopping 😉