6 Things to Think About When Choosing Your First Home
Being a first-time homebuyer is pretty exciting. Finally, you have the enthusiasm to carefully put together all the elements of your dream house.
However, investing in a house is not only about creating Pinterest boards and selecting the furnishings. Much before you get to that stage, you have several hurdles to overcome. Buying a house is one of the most significant financial decisions of your life.
From finding the right realtor to negotiating the price, here are six things you need to know when choosing your first home.
The Right Time
Teens are not the only ones surrendering to peer pressure; it can significantly impact your adult life choices as well. Do not buy a home just because everybody from your circle is doing it or because your family is pushing you to.
It doesn't even matter whether it is a buyers’ market or there are low mortgage rates. Buy a house because you feel ready to - to settle down and be a homeowner.
Most importantly, only buy when you are financially ready.
Take Stock of Your Finance
Before you assume that you have sufficient funds, it is best to take account of your financial standing. Even before you apply for a mortgage, you should determine how much you can afford from your monthly budget for the payments.
Most importantly, it is crucial that you consider your student loan. It is not a small amount that you can easily set aside. Student loans are treated like real debt that will affect your credit score as well.
In addition, you should also include other monthly housing costs, such as taxes, HOA fees, and insurance. Many homebuyers try to limit any house-related payments to be no more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay.
For more information, see Homeownership in 2022: Costs of Buying a House.
Find a Trusted Realtor
There is a misconception that you have to pay a commission to a realtor when purchasing a house. However, in most cases, it is the seller who covers these fees and not the buyer.
That said, you also need to check whether such a commission is included in the listing price. Regardless, a savvy realtor can be an invaluable asset while buying a home - especially for the first time. They can show you the ropes around the real-estate market, as well as help you navigate through home inspections.
Se, better check the feedback on any given person or company the way students do checking best essay writing services reviews before turning to external study help. After all, buying a house also comes with a pile of contracts to sign. Having an experienced realtor on your side will allow you to negotiate the prices and get a better deal.
Think of Future-Proofing
Most people are looking to invest in the property for the long-term. This means that you have to think about future plans as well. For instance, will you change your job soon? Are you planning to get married? What about kids?
Depending on your lifestyle, you will also need to prioritize the locality. A couple with kids might care about the proximity to schools. Others might prefer to have a bustling social life closer to restaurants and clubs. It is imperative that you evaluate all your plans thoroughly.
Look Beyond the First Impression
Regardless of how beautiful the house appears on the first site, you have to look past the paint to see what you are in for. You might already be planning the remodel of a room, with a corner desk to take Dan Chaon https://danchaon.com/ writing course.
However, it might add more to your expenses. While it is easy to fix the wallpaper or add some new color, renovating the kitchen and baths can be very expensive. Homebuyers often fail to account for labor costs, which could almost double or even triple the construction cost.
That does not mean that you need to look for only the perfect home. But it is best to avoid houses that need substantial reconstruction if you are on a budget.
Inspect the Home
You should always be aware of what to check when choosing your first home. Here is a list of things you need to note:
- The condition of the roof. If it is a traditional shingle roof, you will have to replace it every 20 - 25 years, and the costs are high. Check when the latest replacement was done.
- Foundational damage. Keep an eye out for cracks in the foundation, both inside and outside the house. Also, pay attention to the level of floors to check its evenness. There might be some signs of a sinking foundation.
- Potential for natural disasters. If the locality is prone to earthquakes, floods, or wildfires, ensure that your insurance covers such damages.
- Energy efficiency. It is becoming increasingly crucial that you limit your energy consumption to the minimum. The better the insulation of the house, the lesser your utility bills will be. You can also look for provisions to install solar panels or rainwater harvesting.
Evidently, buying your first house is not a slap-on decision. Make sure that you have thought about all the possible costs, including any ongoing maintenance. Finding the right real estate professional could help to take off the weight from your shoulders.