When you’re buying your first house, be prepared for a lengthy process that requires you to make many important decisions. Follow these guidelines so your home buying process is successful and painless.
1. Hire a Real Estate Agent When Buying Your First House
When you are buying your first house, look for a good real estate agent who has extensive experience in helping first-time buyers find the right home. The correct buyer’s agent will helpfully guide you through the process while taking your preferences into consideration.
2. Focus on What You Need
Before you begin shopping for a home, make a list of what you need in a home. Separate your needs from your wants. In many cases, you won’t be able to get everything you want when buying your first house. You may want a hot tub, but it’s not a necessity. If you don’t want to deal with a long commute to work, a short commute could be classified as a “need.”
3. Get Mortgage Pre-Approval When Buying Your First House
While pre-approval for a loan doesn’t guarantee that you’ll receive a mortgage loan in the same amount, it gives you a good ballpark idea of your budget when buying your first house. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage also shows sellers that you’re serious about purchasing. Pre-approval helps expedite the actual loan process once you make an offer on the property.
4. Calculate Mortgage Payments
While calculating mortgage payments, take into account that unexpected monthly expenses will inevitably occur. When buying your first house, it is recommended that your monthly mortgage payment is no higher than one-third of the money you take home each month. You’ll spend money each year on home maintenance, an important point to consider when calculating what you can afford to pay.
5. Make a Competitive Offer
In general, the offer that you make on a home should match the value of the property. Other factors that dictate the price of a home include how long it’s been on the market and how many buyers have expressed interest. If you offer a price that’s too low, sellers won’t be interested in your offer. Bids that are higher than the value of the home are unnecessary unless it’s a highly competitive market.
6. Understand That You Have Options
While you may think you’ve found the home of your dreams, be certain the price of the home is within your budget. Don’t make the mistake of paying more than you can afford or making an offer that’s too high. Homes enter the market regularly, so you can always wait to find options that are better suited to your budget.
7. When Buying Your First House, Order a Home Inspection
Lastly, you’ll want to order a professional home inspection during the closing process. This inspection will assess any damages or defects so that you have a better idea of the home’s condition. You can even ask to accompany the inspector if you’d like to see the findings with your own eyes.