Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the big step and become a homebuyer! After working with so many eager individuals ready to make the dive from renting to owning, we know what new homeowners should keep in mind before the big moment as well as during the process.
- Plan your long-term goals
Although this might seem obvious, take the time to really research and decide upon your future goals. Factor in must-haves and don’t-wants. Make a list of these features, make copies, and bring them with you when you view homes.
- Take a good, hard look at your finances
Perhaps the only thing more important than what you want in a house is whether or not you can afford it. This is the stage where you figure out the mortgage you could qualify for and what your credit score is. Factors that play a role include your monthly income, any debt you currently owe, and how long you’ve been at your current job. Also do research into grants and other avenues of funding before automatically eliminating them as possibilities. It’s very important for first-time homebuyers to live in the present moment (not the potential pay raise in the future). How much can you afford to pay in this very moment?
- Consider all the expenses
Sure, the home itself is an expense, but what about all the other little aspects that will go into living there? Budget for utilities, potential upgrades (or any other remodeling that you want to do), cost of commuting, homeowners insurance, closing costs, and property taxes.
- Protect yourself
Before signing the contract, have a home inspection to search for potential issues that you wouldn’t be able to see and/or the seller hoped you wouldn’t notice. Contingency clauses are another form of protection. For example, if you lost your job and the loan fell through, this clause would allow you to get back any money you’ve put into securing the property.
- View the ugly wallpaper as permanent
It’s important for you, future homebuyer, to try to see through the setup and see yourself in the home. Look past the outdated fixtures to see the structure of the home and how you can build your life there.
- Neglect to research the area
Learning about the neighborhood demographics should have an influence on your decision. If the area is mostly single, 20-somethings, will you enjoy living there with young children? Just keep in mind that you cannot change the area of your home unless you move.
- Casually glance over your contract
It’s important for you to understand every aspect of this contract. If there’s any term you don’t understand, ask. Also secure a copy of the HOA contract, if your new neighborhood has one.
Whenever you’re ready to make this huge life step a buy a new home (or you’re just interested in learning about what homes are for sale in the area), be sure to give Maureen Bryant a call.