Earlier this month, I offered a few things to keep in mind when buying a home together as a newly wed couple. This week, I’d like to offer 5 tips on critical and important aspects to keep in mind for first time homebuyers.
- Budget is the first step. Prior to commencing your search, it’s important to find out your net worth and loan eligibility. You should even get a prequalified loan before starting your search for your dream home.What’s the point of going through all the excitement and headaches of home ownership if you can’t even afford the home of your dreams? By speaking first with a lender, you can really figure out realistic affordability of your home, rather than blindly picking out of a broad price range of listings. The lender can help you understand what the monthly payment breakdown will include, especially caveats like taxes, insurance escrow, and other fees. Once you understand a preapproved amount, this will help you and your loved one create a realistic budget for your first new home. You can also check selling price websites such as Zillow and Homegain for not only listings, but property-tax information as well. Talk to reputable real-estate agents to help you through this process as well.
- <!--[if !supportLists]-->Location is pretty much one of the most important aspects to consider. Prior to scouring over listings and specifics, it’s important to take a look at location, as it relates to you and your significant other’s lifestyle. Everything should be considered… from how close it is to your respective workplaces to important amenities such as schools, hospitals, shopping centers, grocery stores, etc. Furthermore, the location of the home
- Get a home inspection. This should be a no-brainer. Make sure that once you decide on a home, that it is in good standing. It’s common knowledge that almost all homes, especially those that are older, will have some types of issues that will need immediate attention or will need some work put in within the next few years. Another plus is that by experiencing potential headaches or problems in home buying, what type of home you’re looking for just might be altered. Sometimes individuals realize that a condo or a townhouse as a first home, helps to ease a couple into homeownership and lessen potential burden of property maintenance.
- As a beginner, leave paperwork to the Pros. For your first purchase of your home, it makes a lot of sense to have your real estate agent guide you through documents and help make sure that everything is in the right place. It’s a smart buffer against easy mistakes any beginner may make. Realtors have the knowledge and the negotiation skills that will help you and your loved one find a home that fits your needs. Also know that it is so important to keep communication active with your realtor and lender.
- A home is a part of a neighborhood. I can’t reiterate this enough. You may find your perfect dream home, but your neighborhood is just as important. As I previously suggested, it’s always a good idea to talk to potential neighbors to get an inside scoop on what it is like to live in a certain neighborhood. Much like bad neighbors decrease property value, good neighbors are an invaluable resource, especially for first time homebuyers.