If you’ve never bought a home before, just thinking about it can be daunting. We know. We’ve all been first time home buyers before. It is important to know what you are getting yourself into before you make the decision to purchase, so here are 8 tips to help you get started [source of the 8 tips: HouseLogic].
- Know thyself. Everyone is different. It is good to know going into the buying process what type of house you might like to live in, which neighborhood would work best for you (think commute times, location, whether or not its walkable, etc.), and whether or not you might be able to fix something up yourself. If you are handy, decide how much fixing up you’d like to do — a full renovation, or just simple repairs?
- Research before you look. Make two lists — one would be features that are a must, and the other would be features that would be nice to have. (You’ll show this to your Realtor® later.) How many bedrooms and baths do you want? Do you like new construction or older homes? After you make your lists, search for homes online to find out if your expectations are realistic, and to see what is currently on the market.
- Get your finances in order. This is essential. Before purchasing a home, you’ll want to go through your finances and figure out how much house you can and want to afford. What would you like your monthly payment to be? How much can you put down? Meet with a lender to discuss your options. (If you need recommendations for local lenders, let us know!)
- Set a moving timeline. Sometimes buyers have to move at a very specific time, and sometimes it doesn’t matter. If you have to move sooner, you’ll have to be more active and aggressive in your home search. Talk to your Realtor® about realistic timelines for the local area.
- Think long term. Are you planning on living in this next home for 5 years? 10 years? 25 years? If you plan on living in the home for many years, be sure your list of expectations/desired features will help you identify a home that you will still love in the long run.
- Work with a Realtor®. Realtors® are really the best agents to work with in a home search because they invest hours upon hours in a day getting to know the local real estate market. They also adhere to a strict code of ethics. They know the neighborhoods, the history, the price ranges, and good ones will have an idea of where the market is going — even down to the neighborhood or area. Shameless plug: our team has been very successful in working with buyers and sellers since 2003. Call us today so we can meet!
- Be realistic. Throughout this list of 8 tips, we’ve suggested being realistic. Working with a Realtor® will also help with adjusting your list of features to reality. Know your price point. Know your timeline. If you want to only live in a specific neighborhood and don’t look elsewhere, you might be missing out on a fantastic house that would fit your needs well. Look beyond your “borders” to see if something else might pique your interest and meet your wants and needs.
- Limit the options you solicit. Buying a home is a big financial decision, so getting opinions from others might give you some peace of mind, but try to keep it limited to 2 or 3 outside opinions. Also, remain true to your list of needs, and leave some wiggle room on your list of wants.
There you have it. 8 tips to help you get started with your home purchase. If you are still on the fence about buying, please contact us to discuss your situation and options. We’d love to consult with you!