If you’re new to the home-buying game, it’s not just about making a purchase. Here are a few things you should consider before purchasing a property.
9 Things First-Time Home Buyers Must Know and Consider
1. The kind of lifestyle you live
Before buying a house, you need to evaluate your lifestyle first to know which type is suitable for you. Each locale brings certain limitations on the kind of life you live.
If you’re the type who’s looking forward to raising a family, then perhaps a house in the suburbs fits you best. If you intend to start a home business baking goodies and treats, you need a place where there’s just enough room for your oven and other equipment but not as big as one that houses an assembly line or a Servo filling machine.
Determining your needs and preferences will help narrow down your list of the ones that are right up your alley.
2. The costs of owning a home
Buying a house is one thing; keeping it is another. You need to understand that your house-related expenses will not end when you close the deal on your purchase. Monthly mortgages, utilities, regular household maintenance, property taxes, homeowners association fees, and other expenses add up.
3. The option to either build or buy
When it comes to owning a home, you have two options. One is to have it custom-built according to your specifications, but this can be pretty expensive. The other is to buy a home. In purchasing a home, you have two options as well. Either you go for a brand new home and move in or buy an older house and do some remodeling, which can also be very costly. Either way, do your research first and consult with the right people before making a decision.
4. Location matters
A property’s location somehow affects its market price. A house on an upscale neighborhood will cost a lot more than ones that are in typical suburban areas. A bargain might not seem like a bargain if the property is located in a terrible neighborhood.
5. Understand the different types of loans
There are a lot of lenders that offer different loan programs at competitive rates. But make sure that you look beyond what’s advertised. Don’t just settle for the cheapest rate that you can find. Shop around and talk to several lenders first to see what each of them has to offer. And once you’ve narrowed down your list, make sure you read through all the clauses and fine print.
6. Find the right broker
A real estate agent represents the seller. Their goal is to sell the house at the most favorable prices. A broker, on the other hand, represents you as the buyer. Their goal is to get you the best place suited for you at a price within your reach. Look for one to help you land the best possible deal.
7. Home inspection
Most states require home sellers to disclose all potential and existing issues of a property. However, some homeowners may not be aware of issues beyond aesthetics and visible structural problems. For this reason, hiring a professional home inspector is recommended so that a thorough inspection of the property can be adequately done beforehand.
8. Read and understand all the signed documents
Purchasing a home entails a lot of legal documents, which, thanks to its jargon and technical terms, can be quite frustrating because it’s difficult to understand. Do some research and brush up a bit on some real estate technical terms before shopping around for a house. And don’t be afraid to ask questions before placing your signature on any document.
9. The After-Sales
Once you’ve closed the deal, a few other things need to be done. You need to purchase homeowners insurance to protect your newly-bought asset in case something incidental happens, such as a fire, theft, or damage brought about by acts of God.
You also need to consider if getting a home warranty (if it’s not included in the sale) works for you. You should also ensure that the title to the property is already taken care of.
Buying a house is perhaps the biggest expense any of us will ever make. If we don’t give careful thought to it, our mistakes and poor judgment can be very costly.