If you’re in the market for your first home, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. After all, there is a lot of work that goes into buying a house. Not all of it is straightforward or simple. Buying a house for the first time can be more complicated than they make it seem on HGTV but with these eight tips, buying your first home will be much less stressful.
Buy the house that you can afford.
Don’t forget to factor in your monthly bills like utilities when figuring out how much house you can buy and budget for things like closing costs, inspection fees, appraisal fees, and moving expenses. The last thing you want is to get stuck with too large of a monthly payment! You also need to consider things like whether or not the area has good schools or access to public transportation if there are kids in the picture (or maybe even just pets).
Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking at homes.
The first step to buying a home is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Getting pre-approved means that you’ve found the right lender and discovered how much you can afford. It does not mean that you’re already fully approved for the loan amount. The lender will run your credit report and your income history, as well as ask about other debts you may have. You’ll also need to show proof of employment and supply documents necessary for underwriting (e.g., pay stubs).
Once you’ve got all of this information ready, contact several lenders and ask them what they’d like to see before they approve an application. The more details they request at this point in time, the better they’ll be able to assess your situation accurately.
The benefits of getting pre-approved are numerous. Not only will lenders commit themselves to helping put together an offer on behalf of their borrower More importantly, though is simply having peace of mind throughout the entire process knowing exactly what kind of house one can afford. This will eliminate worrying about stretching budgets too far beyond their limits or falling victim again later down the road due to lack of knowledge beforehand.
Prepare Your Finances and Credit For The Process
- Check your credit for any incorrect information. If there are errors on your credit report discuss them with your lender prior to making any changes. Some of them may not affect your ability to qualify.
- Make sure you have enough cash for a down payment and closing costs.
- Save up for moving expenses, which can include storage, travel costs, temporary lodging, meals, and gas. These expenses are often missed when setting up a home-buying budget.
- If you haven’t yet set up a personal budget, get one together. At a minimum track all of your expenses for a few weeks to see where your money is being spent. It may surprise you.
- Have enough money to pay for your monthly mortgage payments, utilities, and maintenance costs.
Be prepared to negotiate on price if necessary.
Even though it may seem intimidating at first, don’t let this stop you from talking with sellers about making changes within their homes before purchasing them; they’re probably willing to work with buyers if they know how important it is! Having the right Realtor working alongside you can save you a lot of money and stress during the process.
Give yourself enough time to look around.
You may be anxious to find the perfect house but rushing into a purchase is never going to work out in your favor. You don’t want to rush into buying a house. In fact, you should give yourself enough time to look around. Don’t be afraid to walk away if something doesn’t feel right. It’s better to wait a few months and find the perfect house than buy one that isn’t quite right just because you’re tired of looking.
Remember that you will be living in this space for years, so it’s important that you take your time and make sure it fits all your requirements. You don’t want to regret buying a house that was too small or too far from friends and family members who are important in your life!
It’s also wise to consider how much time each house will take from you—and whether or not it’s worth it for the cost savings. For example, if someone is willing to sell at a lower price but has more work required before moving in (such as renovations), then buying that home could save some money upfront. But if those renovations end up costing more than expected (or if they’re just plain difficult), then walking away from that deal might end up being better overall because the seller would need less money upfront anyway!
Find the right real estate agent for you.
As with all relationships, finding a real estate agent that you work well with is key to making sure the home-buying process goes smoothly. First-time home buyers often feel pressure from family, friends, and co-workers who have purchased homes in the past and are eager to share their experiences. Before you reach a decision, though, it’s important to consider how each person’s needs align with yours. If they’ve bought a single-family house and want, you to buy one too—even if it doesn’t fit your needs—you will likely be disappointed in the end result.
Finding an agent who has experience working with first-time home buyers can help ensure that your needs are met throughout the entire process of looking at houses and negotiating offers on them. You’ll also want someone willing to listen carefully as they learn about what matters most when deciding on which property will become yours (schools? proximity to work?).
Consider what’s important to you in a home and neighborhood.
When you’re considering what kind of house to buy, remember that there are many factors to consider.
- Do you want a home with lots of bedrooms and bathrooms?
- Or would it be better for you to live in a small apartment with fewer rooms?
- Would you prefer a house in the country or an urban area?
- Are there any specific amenities or features that are vital to your happiness?
- How much do you want to spend on housing each month?
If possible, make sure these things are aligned with what’s important to your family. For example, if your top priority is living close enough so that all members of your family can get transportation easily, then make sure that proximity is important before buying a house in an area without good public transportation options.
Don’t buy without getting a home inspection done first
Call around to find the right before deciding who might best suit your needs here. Your Realtor will most likely have a good recommendation for you. Be sure to ask them. This is an important step that could save you thousands in home repairs once you move into the home.
We hope this guide has helped you learn more about the home-buying process and how to make sure your first house is a smart investment. Good luck with your search and congratulations on becoming a homeowner!