Do you plan on buying your first home this year? Congratulations! This is a big milestone any way you look at it. Of course, you may be feeling your share of concern and confusion for the process ahead. Purchasing a home can be a tricky process, especially for those who have never done it before. We hope to ease some of your confusion and make the process as seamless as possible, with our simple tips for first-time homebuyers.
Know your credit and your finances
While this tip is true for all homebuyers—whether it’s the first or fifth home—it’s especially important to keep in mind if this is your first time shopping for a home. Knowing your credit score and other pertinent financial information can help you better understand your budget. Additionally, when it comes time to securing a loan for your home, credit is important—so if your score still needs some work, it’s better to know that now than when you’re ready to make a move on a home.
Many first-time homebuyers may consider buying a home that suits their needs now—but it’s always smart to look ahead and anticipate your needs and wants down the line. Do you plan to expand your family? If so, school district and extra bedrooms are a few factors to keep in mind. Do you hope to sell your first home within a few years? You’ll want to consider how sellable your home will be by then, and whether or not you’ll be able to make value-boosting improvements.
As a first-time homebuyer, it can be tempting to pursue one of the first homes you see—and while “love-at-first-sight” in real estate certainly is a possibility, it’s still wise to take your time and go through the motions to pick a home you will truly love now and down the line. Visit a few homes to get a sense of what you like and don’t like, and don’t overlook the inspection.
Anticipate new expenses
Your new home will come with its share of new expenses, so be sure to keep these in mind during the purchasing process. Such expenses include repairs, maintenance, HOA fees and more. Find a home you can comfortably afford that leaves you plenty of funds for surprise expenses down the line.
Find new ways to save
Because a new home can have a big impact on your monthly budget and finances, it’s always smart to find new ways to save. One of the best ways for new homeowners to do this is to plan on paying more than the minimum mortgage payment. You’ll be able to relax in the event of tight finances, all while cutting down on the interest you owe later on.
These are a few great tips to keep in mind as you continue along the home buying process—but this is by no means a definitive guide! For specific advice and one-on-one assistance, give our office a call today. We can help make your first home purchase a memorable one… for all the right reasons!