If you’re buying a home soon, you’ll want to get educated before engaging a seller. Click here for tips on what to know when buying a house.
Are you ready to move on to the next step in your life? Becoming one of the 64% of homeowners in America is a huge feat, but it doesn’t always come easily.
Buying a home isn’t as simple as viewing a handful of properties and making an offer in a week. It takes a lot of planning and consideration before you sign those papers.
In fact, you should learn what to know when buying a house before you even take a look at your first potential home.
Do you want to know what we’re talking about? Keep reading to discover 8 important things to consider before you buy a house.
1. Start Looking Early
Is your lease ending in a month? You may think this is the perfect time to start shopping.
However, buying a house can take several months. The time it takes will depend on a lot of things, such as the homes on the market, your price range, and your wish list. But when you decide to buy a home, you should expect it to take more than a few weeks.
If you’re living in an apartment, start to look a few months before your lease is up. If you’re afraid you won’t find a home in time, talk to your landlord about switching to a month-by-month lease. They may increase your monthly rent for doing this, but at least you’ll be ready to move as soon as you find your new house.
2. Choose the Right Agent
Your real estate agent can make or break your home buying experience, so you’ll want to make sure you do research before choosing one.
Make sure your real estate agent has good online reviews and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. If you notice they start showing you homes that are way out of your budget, consider getting a new agent.
3. Go with Your Gut
Of course, before you can really start shopping, you need to have a price-point in mind. When you talk to your bank or mortgage company, you’ll likely get preapproved for a loan.
This number is what they believe you can afford based on your income and credit. But, remember, they don’t know the ins and outs of your spending habits.
If you received a large loan and are worried about affording the mortgage on a house that expensive, don’t do it. Trust your gut and go with a cheaper house.
4. Consider All the Costs
Unfortunately, there are more bills than just mortgage when you buy a house. When deciding what you can afford, don’t forget to factor in things like real estate taxes, insurance, and Home Owner’s Association fees.
Things are no different when it comes time to buy. Don’t forget you’ll need to have enough saved for a down payment plus closing fees, inspection, and the like. You may also want to save more for renovations or upgrades before you move in.
5. Take Family Advice with a Grain of Salt
“Oh, you’re buying your first home?! Make sure you get the most expensive one your loan will afford you. You’ll probably both get raises in the next few years anyway” While this advice, and advice just like it, may be given with the best intentions, take everything you hear with a grain of salt.
What your family members did and experienced when they bought a house may be different than what happens to you.
For example, maybe Uncle Lenny and Aunt Janice didn’t mind staying in on weekends and never took their vacation days. Maybe they were workaholics who got promoted a lot.
But that doesn’t mean that’s what will happen to you. If you enjoy spending your money on hobbies or traveling, you may want to opt for a cheaper home so you have enough money to do the things you like. You should also never buy a house assuming you’ll get a raise or promotion in the future.
6. Take Your Time
Did you find a house you liked, but you aren’t completely sold on it yet? Sure, it’s better than the other homes you’ve seen, but it’s still missing something.
The real estate agent may tell you someone else is interested, so you’ll have to decide quickly. But, don’t fall for this.
Buying a home is a huge commitment. Don’t let anyone rush your decision, or you may end up with buyer’s regret later on. There will always be other houses, so make sure you take your time before putting an offer in.
7. Look at the Neighborhood
Don’t forget to take a good look at the neighborhood before you buy a house. In some cases, the neighborhood can ruin even your dream home.
Make sure the house is located in a convenient area–you’ll want to live close to work, the grocery store, and the bank.
Ask your agent or research crime in the area. Do you have to worry about break-ins or vandalism? Will you need to install a security system?
Lastly, think about how this neighborhood will fit into your future. If you want to have kids in the next few years, you may want a neighborhood with other kids, a park, a good school district, and community activities, like Easter egg hunts and garage sales.
8. Get an Attorney to Close
When you’ve finally chosen a house, there will be a lot of paperwork coming your way. This can be intimidating, especially if you don’t fully understand what each contract is saying.
Make sure you get a real estate closing attorney to help you. They will make sure everything is legal and in order, so you aren’t signing things you don’t understand.
What to Know When Buying a House
When you’re a first-time home buyer, you’ll likely have a lot of questions and uncertainties. But, we hope this article helped show you what to know when buying a house, so the process goes smoother.
Are you looking for more information on buying and decorating your home? Then, check out our blog today.
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