Buying a new home is a major event in your life. Such a large investment has big implications for you and your family. Of course, the home buying process can be rather intimidating when you’re a first-time buyer. If you are in the market for your first home, hopefully, the points in this article will help you save important time and money.
Your Available Budget
The first thing you need to determine is what you can spend on a house. Take a close look at your budget. If you have been planning to buy a house for some time, you should have money saved for a down payment. The more you can put down the less your house payment will be. Next, you need to get qualified for a home loan before you start looking at houses. When you are approved for a loan in advance the seller will know you are a serious buyer. That can definitely work to your advantage when you are negotiating a price.
In addition to your down payment, you will need to save money for the closing costs, most of which are the responsibility of the buyer. Your lender will estimate these for you before you agree on a mortgage.
Another good reason to pre-qualify for a mortgage is to see if your credit report contains any errors. If there are errors, start cleaning them up immediately or they may affect your interest rate. A poor credit score could even make it impossible to get a loan. After you have signed a contract on a house is not a good time to discover there is a problem with your credit. So be sure to get your loan approval squared away first.
Remember that there are many financial responsibilities when you own a home. Besides the mortgage, you will also have to buy property insurance and pay property taxes. In addition, many subdivisions have homeowners’ associations, and these usually charge annual fees. You should also include in your budget the cost of any changes you want to make to the house. Also, will you need additional furniture?
Remember that a good real estate agent is a very valuable commodity. These professionals have a lot of knowledge about the market and the process of buying a home. Typically, your agent should be working for you only — they should not also represent the seller. Representing both buyer and seller poses a conflict of interest at times. Some states allow this such as California, but be careful working with the Agent that has listed the house. It is not always a good idea as the ability to negotiate will be lessened.
Know What You Want
Have a clear picture of the features you must have in your new home. For example, if you have four children a two-bedroom house is not an option. Choose carefully the area of town that you want to live in. Keep in mind your family’s safety. If your children are still in school find out everything about the school district before you decide on a neighborhood.
Your new home is not only a major investment but also a life-changing event. As long as you plan in advance you should have no problem finding the right new home for your family.