Buying your first home is an exciting milestone, but it can also be a daunting experience. It is important to do your research and ask the right questions to be prepared for what lies ahead. The more prepared you are, the smoother your journey to homeownership will be.
Here are five things to know before buying your first home:
1. Home Condition
Make sure you have an inspector look at the house before you buy it. They can check for:
- electrical issues
- moisture issues
- structural damage
…as well as any other potential problems. Decide whether you’re willing to invest in repairs or renovations before you buy a house that needs work.
2. Loan Qualification
Before you begin your house hunt, it’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you an idea of your price range, so you’re not wasting time looking at homes that are out of your affordability range. It will also give the seller confidence in you as a potential buyer. This could prove to be an advantage when competing against other offers.
3. Local Real Estate Market
Understanding the local real estate market will help you determine what’s a good deal and if you’re getting a fair price. It can also help you decide whether or not now is a good time to buy. Look at:
- days on the market
- how many homes are currently listed in the area
- similar home prices
4. Neighborhood Desirability
Don’t focus only on the houses. Research the neighborhood you’re looking at as well. Drive around the area, look into crime statistics, learn about local schools, read online reviews from residents, and talk to people in the neighborhood.
5. Your Budget
One of the biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers make is assuming that the loan amount they qualify for is what they can afford. In addition to the down payment and closing costs that you must pay upfront, you’ll need to make sure it’s financially feasible to keep up with the monthly payments as well as all the costs associated with owning a home, including taxes, insurance, HOA fees, maintenance, and more.
These are five things that you should know if you’re planning to buy a house for the first time. For additional first-time homebuying advice, be sure to contact us at Randy Lindsay today.