Although the following tips can be helpful for anyone buying a home, for someone buying a home for the first time and likely unfamiliar for the process, they can be especially beneficial:
Take all homeownership expenses into consideration
Many first-time homebuyers underestimate just how much it costs to own property; there is much more to consider than the initial purchase price and the monthly mortgage loan payments. You’ll have to budget for homeowners insurance, property tax, HOA fees (if applicable), and more. There are also things that you’re financially responsible for on your own once you become a homeowner. For example, if something needed to be replaced or repaired when you were renting, your landlord would be responsible for taking care of the problem and paying for it. As a homeowner, however, you’re responsible for fixing these things and paying for them.
Plan for the future
You find what you believe to be the perfect home and can’t wait to make an offer on it. While it can be easy to get caught up in the moment when you think you’ve finally found “the one,” you’ll have to ask yourself this question: Is this the perfect home for you for many years to come, or is it just the perfect home at this time in your life? You’ll want to think ahead and plan for the future when you’re making your choice. A starter home is one thing, but you also don’t want a home that you grow out of way too quickly, or decide a year later that you’re unhappy with. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you can picture yourself in the home for at least five years (10 years is ideal) before making any final decisions.
Enlist the help of a real estate agent
As the buyer, it’s free to work with a real estate agent, and an experienced agent in your area can be an invaluable resource. Although real estate agents are helpful for anyone looking to buy a home, they can be especially helpful for someone who is new to the process. After all, it can all feel a little overwhelming at times. A real estate agent can answer any questions you have along the way, and can also help you find a perfect home within your budget.
Get the home inspected
Even if the home is brand new and everything seems fine, it’s important to always get a home inspection before you purchase a home. A home inspection can reveal underlying problems that are not only expensive to fix, but can take a long time to repair as well. You’ll want to know what you’re getting yourself into before you take ownership of the home. In some situations, you may want to get the seller to fix certain things before you make an offer; in other cases, you might be better off moving on and finding a different home.
Do you want to buy a home, but need money for your down payment? Peachtree Financial Solutions may be able to help if you’re receiving structured settlement payments. Contact Peachtree today to learn more about selling some or all of your future payments for a lump sum of cash.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.