When it comes to property, most people need some extra help and advice. This applies whether you’re planning to renovate your kitchen or put your house on the market.
If you’re buying your first home, this is a huge undertaking as well. There are many things to keep in mind when making such an important purchase.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the key factors to consider when buying your first house.
First-Time Homebuyer Programs
These can offer assistance with the down payment, closing costs, and other expenses associated with buying a home. Some also offer education and counseling services to help people navigate the proceedings from start to finish.
It’s wise to research the different first-time homebuyer programs available in your area because they can make things more affordable and less stressful.
You’ll be able to discover more about these programs by going online. You can learn about first time homebuyer requirements, how to find a program in your state and getting started with a lender you can trust.
There’s also homebuyer education on things like downpayment assistance, closing assistance, tax deductions, and government-backed loans.
Getting Pre-Approved For A Mortgage
This means that a lender has provided you with a letter indicating how much money they’re willing to lend you to purchase a home. That’ll give you an idea of how much you can afford to spend.
It also shows sellers that you’re a serious buyer, which can give you an advantage when making an offer on a home. If you’re not sure where to commence, chat to your bank or credit union.
They’ll be able to help you determine how much you can afford to borrow based on your income, debts, and other factors.
It’s important to keep in mind that just because you’ve been pre-approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to spend that much. Only spend an amount that you’re comfortable with, factoring in things like homeowners insurance, property taxes, and maintenance costs.
Saving Up For A Down Payment
This is the initial payment you make when buying a home, and it’s typically a specific percentage of the home’s purchase price. Saving up for a downpayment is important because it:
- shows lenders that you’re serious about buying a home
- gives you negotiating power when making an offer
- means you’ll have equity in your home from the start
- can help you avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI)
If you’re having trouble saving, there are a few things you can do to make it easier:
- Set up a budget and track your spending
- Automate your savings so that money is transferred to your savings account as soon as you get paid
- Cut back on unnecessary expenses (e.g. takeouts, eating at restaurants)
- Look for ways to increase your income (e.g. taking on a second job or renting out a room in your home)
- Make some sacrifices (e.g. selling a second car or cutting back on vacations)
The quality of schools, public transportation, unemployment rates, crime rates, and property taxes are all important factors to think about when choosing where to live. Newer developments might have higher HOA fees which can add up over time.
You should also take into account your commute to work, how close you’ll be to family and friends, and what kind of leisure activities are nearby.
For example, If you have young children, you might want to be in a neighborhood with other families. Do your research online and talk to people who live in the area to get a sense of what it’s really like.
The Size Of The Property
The size of the property will determine how much you’ll pay in taxes. The larger the square footage, the higher your taxes will be.
A larger home will also have a higher mortgage, so keep your budget in mind when you’re looking at properties.
You also need to consider your needs in terms of the property size. For instance, a family of four will require a different size home than a single person.
If you’re recently married and planning to have children, make sure the home will meet your future needs as well.
Ask yourself whether you want:
- A starter home that you can grow into
- A forever home with plenty of space for entertaining
- Something in between
The Age Of The Property
The age of a home can increase or decrease its value and how much maintenance it may need. A home that’s only a few years old is going to be worth more and have less wear and tear than an older one.
You should get a home inspection to make sure there aren’t any major problems with the property before you commit to buying it.
You’ll also want to think about whether you want a fixer-upper or not. An older home is likely to need some repairs, but you may be able to get it at a lower price.
These are professional salespeople who deal in the buying and selling of houses and land. They can be a helpful resource when you’re looking for your first home, as they often have a good knowledge of the local property market.
The benefits of using an estate agent include:
- They can help you find properties that meet your individual criteria
- They can negotiate on your behalf with the seller to try and get the best price for the property
The downside of using an estate agent is that:
- You’ll have to pay them a commission if they’re successful in selling you a property
- In some cases, they can be pushy or aggressive
- Some pressure buyers into paying more than they should for a property
These have been some key things to bear in mind when buying your first house. They can save you from making expensive mistakes, and make sure you end up with the right property.
Then you can move in, resting assured that your new home will serve you and your household for many years to come.