3 Tips to Keep in Mind on Your First Home Purchase
If it’s your first time buying a house, you’re going to get a lot of tips and tricks from your friends and family who have gone through the process of home-buying– but which ones will work for you? As you begin to look for a home for the first time, keep these basic tips in your back pocket so that you’re well equipped and ready to handle anything that comes your way.
Only bite off as much as you can chew.
Let’s be real, buying a house costs a lot– so unless you have a lot of cash saved up, you’ll need to get a home loan. To get an idea of how much you can afford, real estate experts suggest that your monthly house expenses (such as: mortgage and maintenance) shouldn’t be more than 28% of your gross monthly income. To get a more detailed analysis, consider asking a lender for a mortgage pre-approval. A mortgage pre-approval factors in how much of a loan you can afford if you happen to qualify for one.
Know what you want and when to compromise.
When you begin house hunting, knowing what your deal breakers are for the home that you want to settle in will help narrow down your home search. Reasonable deal breakers include price, size, and location. Most home buyers will be lucky to have all three deal breakers. If you find a home that you absolutely love, but happens to be a bit off on your deal breaking list (due to the price or some minor details) it’s in your best interest to still consider the home as an option; you would have to definitely assess your financial and personal circumstances in this situation. The key is to also allow for some flexibility, but think long and hard about what you’re willing to compromise.
If there are things about the home that you feel must be fixed before you move in, your contract will lay out contingencies– in other words, needs that must be met before you close. The seller then decides if they are willing to move forward with these guidelines, and both parties will move forward accordingly. While it’s important you find a home you love, remember that it’s hard to find one that’s 100% perfect.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Between the contracts, real estate lingo, and financial planning– there’s a lot that goes into a real estate transaction. If you feel overwhelmed or confused, it’s completely normal. Don’t ever feel embarrassed to ask questions– it would be worse to get yourself into a bad situation simply because you didn’t have the nerve to do so. A good real estate agent makes it their business to help you understand the entire process and to make sure you’re comfortable with everything going down. However, don’t rely so heavily on having a real estate agent that you fail to read important paperwork. For example, neglecting to read an important contract can cause you stress down the line when you learn you signed off on a plan that increases your HOA fees every month. Bottom line, it’s always wise to take your time learning the process and to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable.
What was your first home-buying experience like? Share your story in the comments below.