While experience is said to be the best teacher, you will certainly want to avoid making too many mistakes with an investment as big as your first home. Chances are this will be your most expensive purchase to date. Here is some helpful advice to keep in mind as you delve into this transaction.
Explore The Surroundings
When buying a home, many first-timers tend to focus on just the property itself. You however need to remember that you will be living amid a community. Before committing to any purchase, take some time to explore the neighbourhood just as you did every room in the house. Find out where the stores are, transport links, and if possible the personalities around you. The last thing you want is to discover you are living next to a frat house where parties go on every night of the week.
Evaluate Your Finances
Before you commit to a mortgage, you need to ensure your finances are in order. More so that you can comfortably afford the installments. It is not advisable to strain yourself financially given that most mortgages will last 15-30 years. That is a very long commitment. Also, keep in mind that switching from a renter to a homeowner comes with additional responsibilities such as utilities, maintenance, and property taxes. Even at the time you are buying, you may find yourself having to pay for home insurance premiums, loan application fees, processing fees, inspection, attorney’s fees, and more. Factor in all these expenses as you settle on what amount you can commit to a mortgage and is needed to close the deal.
If you intend to take a mortgage, it is a good idea to approach multiple lenders and get preapproval. Casting your net wide will ensure you are getting the best possible interest rate on this borrowing. It will also help you establish a budget for what value of a home you should be targeting during your house hunting. Once you have a budget, it will also give you a better idea of what kind of housing is accessible to you. Preapproval will also make you appear a more serious buyer to sellers.
Consult A Realtor
It may seem practical to go out there and hunt for a house on your own, but if you are not familiar with the area, there is a good chance you will lose out on hidden gems. Many homeowners that sell do not even put up signs advertising the fact on their lawn. They leave it to trusted realtors to handle the work. Seek out a local realtor with a good reputation in the area you want to buy into. They can better advise you on what to look for given your circumstance and can update you quickly when what meets your requirements enters the market. They can also offer guidance on what is appropriate pricing given the market and can even negotiate on your behalf. Ensure the realtor is someone you are comfortable with and is responsive to your queries.