Purchasing a home is a big commitment and can impact you in severely negative ways if you aren’t properly prepared and don’t consider the bigger picture.
To help ease the anxiety of purchasing a home, we have done some research and created a great list of things that you should consider before jumping head-first into purchasing a home.
- Finances – Taking out a mortgage is a big commitment and being able to make that mortgage payment each month can be difficult. Be sure to review your finances and take into consideration all the expenses you will have, such as utilities and homeowners insurance. All of these things add up and you do not want to fall behind on any of your payments or get stuck financially.
- Do not purchase more than you can afford – A lot of first time home buyers think that because they were pre-approved for a certain loan amount, that is what they can spend. This couldn’t be more wrong. Make sure the home you purchase is something you can afford; this goes back to taking a look at your current finances.
- Think long-term – Buying a home is not a short-term thing. Think of your future; do you see marriage and children in your life? Think about resale; can you make a profit off this home? Or, do you want to rent the home and is that even an option?
Note: You will need to take a look at the HOA contract if the home is a part of an association.
- You don’t have to purchase a home – Sometimes a house doesn’t work with your lifestyle or current finances, which is totally okay. Take a look at all your options, such as townhouses, condos, lofts etc. You never know what you may find out there.
- Creating a “want” list – Making a list of what you want in a home is extremely beneficially, but you also have to remember you may not get everything you want. This will help you compare homes and measure what items on your list are more important. Plus, you may fall in love with a house that has none of your “wants,” this will help you reevaluate what is important to you in a home.
- Buying a house for the view – Always remember: If you do not own what is outside your window, the chances of that disappearing are much higher. Never purchase a home for the view unless you will own it or are 100 percent certain it cannot be changed.
- Look beyond the staging of the home – So many times people look at house as it is and forget that change is possible. That yellow room can be repainted or that game room with a giant pool table can be turned into kids play room or family area.
- Listen to the old folks and all of their advice – Many first time home buyers look to family or friends that have purchased a home before for advice. All of the advice about having an emergency fund, saving for a down payment of 20 percent, getting your credit into better shape and not buy more than you can afford, is all great advice to follow.
- Working with a trusted Realtor – Like anything you do in life that requires you to work with another person, you hope that person is trustworthy; the same goes for realtors. Do your research, ask questions and compare realtors to each other. There is nothing wrong with keeping your guard up when it comes to which realtor to work with. In the end, he or she is the person you pay to find your perfect home and who asks for your signature on the contract.