Things to consider when purchasing your first home
After years of renting, you have finally decided to take the plunge and invest in a home of your own. The process of selecting the right house can be exciting, but it is also rife with stress and anxiety. If you are finally dipping your toes into the real estate pool, use these tips to help you along the way.
Calculate the costs
While there are affordable housing options and flexible payment plans, purchasing a home is still a monumental investment. HGTV explains that before you commit to buying a place of your own, you should be realistic about whether or not it is within your budget. The source notes that many people only factor in the cost of monthly mortgage payments and are left scraping for change when the upfront costs start to pile up. You need to make sure you have enough cash saved up to cover closing costs, a down payment and any repairs you may want to make. Additionally, you need to consider whether you will want to buy new furniture or hire movers to assist you with the transition. Sit down and map out your finances to see if you can afford the house in addition to the inevitable supplementary charges.
Figure out what you want
It is easy to get swayed by glossy real estate brochures and persuasive brokers, but when it boils down to it, you will be the one who has to live in the home long after the papers are signed. Because of this, you should make sure you are getting everything you want from the house you choose to buy.Business Insider notes that when making this decision, you should not only consider your current situation but also where you want to be in five years.
“Consider things like size and location.”
For example, if you are purchasing a home with your significant other and are thinking about having children in the not-so-distant future, buying a one-bedroom condominium is not going to be a great long-term investment. You will probably find yourself restarting the buying process just a few years later. In addition to size, think carefully about location, including proximity to your job, whether you are looking for an urban or suburban neighborhood and how the school district ranks. Even if you do not have children, living in a strong school district can add value to your home.
Do a thorough inspection
If you think you have found your dream home, do not get too excited just yet. Realtors and homeowners employ numerous tricks to make houses appear flawless during showings, so it will take an in-depth inspection to reveal any major issues you may be inheriting if you choose to purchase the residence. Forbes magazine advises to always hire a top-quality home inspector to conduct the investigation, particularly if the house’s price seems too good to be true – this is definitely not the place to cut corners. If an issue arises, dig deeper into its root causes and be persistent about existing homeowners either repairing it or lowering the asking price.
For example, many old homes have electrical issues that may not be obvious from a quick walk-through. Ask the inspector to check the wiring to ensure it is safe and can handle all the appliances and devices you will be plugging in. Nothing is worse than blowing a fuse every time you run a space heater and a hair dryer at the same time, so always insist on an extremely thorough home investigation.
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