Are you ready to stop renting and start investing your money into your first home? Here are 11 tips you should think about when buying your first home! Remember your goal is to find a home you will love at a price you can afford!
📋 Create a Budget
The first thing to do when considering buying your first house is to plan your budget. Create a list of all current expenses that you have (excluding rent), including car payments, student loans, credit card payments, insurance, groceries, and gas.
Don’t forget to add in any payments made quarterly or annually. Once you have calculated your monthly expenses, subtract that from your monthly take-home pay and you should have what you can afford each month for your new home.
👩💼 Find a Real Estate Agent
It’s essential to find a real estate agent when you are serious about buying your first home because there will be many things you might not understand about buying a house. Your real estate agent will be a resource for finding homes on the market that will meet your criteria for purchase and be able to answer your questions.
A real estate agent will provide you with other resources like a lender, inspector, or insurance agent. Many real estate agents are held to an ethical standard to work in your best interest and provide you with the best home buying experience possible.
📱 Contact RL Real Estate
🏦 Find a Lender
Get pre-qualified through a lender as you begin your home search. Your real estate agent may be able to help you find a quality lender and save precious time.
👛 Homeowner Expenses
Be prepared for additional expenses not included in your monthly mortgage loan payment. There are property taxes and insurance premiums to consider. Owning a home means being responsible for repairs that crop up unexpectedly.
If the home you buy is in a gated community or condominium, you may also have a fee for Homeowners Association membership. This fee can be hundreds of dollars a month and usually takes care of things like lawn care and community amenities.
📓 Create Must Have List
Searching for your first house is exciting, but you can get overwhelmed with decisions with a list of must-have items on hand. List everything from the number of bedrooms you need to the amenities you want to be nearby your home’s location.
This list of must-have items comes in handy when you’re comparing homes and find yourself in a situation that calls for compromise. Knowing ahead of time which items you won’t compromise on can save you time and lessen stress.
🔎 Focus on Budget
🤔 Be Open Minded
If you find that homes within your target price range are not move-in ready, keep an open mind about build times and renovations. It may be easier to compromise on visual elements to secure a stronger foundation. It’s easier to change paint color than it is to replace old wiring.
🛠 Sweat Equity
🏙 Consider Location
It is difficult to predict the future, but paying attention to the area in which you are buying your house may be an important factor. You may want to live close to work, specific schools, or family. Consider the following when deciding where to buy.
- Vacant Lots
- Neighborhood Values
🕵 Get an Inspection
It is essential to know what shape your potential new home is in before signing the dotted line. Your agent can help you find a trusted company when getting your new house inspected before making that commitment.
Even if you are not required to get a home inspection for your loan, getting one is a wise choice to make if you don’t want to be surprised with unexpected repairs. You don’t want to get stuck buying a money pit and not having the money to make the necessary repairs.