Best Advice for First-time Homebuyers
Everyone dreams of that day. The day that we finally settle into our homes that we have built, or bought, for ourselves is a milestone that we all hope to experience at some point in our lives. Few things are more fulfilling than spending your hard-earned money and securing your future in a home that you have dreamed of living in for years.
However, achieving the independence and financial freedom in order to be able to call yourself a homeowner can sometimes be a long and winding road. Indeed, for most people, saving up for their own home will take multiple years, sometimes even decades.
People who rush into purchasing their dream house may also end up in unfortunate situations. Sometimes, buying that house when you’re not supposed to yet is basically just digging your own financial grave. It’s not impossible that the dream house you somehow were able to buy after a year of working an entry-level job would be your most regrettable purchase.
If you’re looking to move out of your parents’ house or think that you’re ready to stop renting that studio apartment and get a place that you can truly call your own, here are some tips to remember before spending your money on your first home:
Save as early as possible
Purchasing a home often involves hefty upfront costs. Deposits for houses generally eat up a huge chunk of your money so it’s important that you have enough money that you can afford to spend without crippling your finances. If you’re dead set on purchasing a home, start setting aside money as much as you can on a regular basis and make sure that you only touch it once you’re ready to make the big purchase. Cooking in your apartment instead of eating out is worth it if you’d get to cook in your very own house in the near future.
Be mindful of your financial health
Of course, consider if buying a home is the best move for you financially. A lot of factors are at play here, such as your income, your savings, and your current debt, among a multitude of other factors that may depend on your particular circumstances. Remember that the purchase doesn’t end with depositing the down payment and securing the mortgage. Being a homeowner entails regular expenses for utilities, renovations, repairs, and overall home maintenance. You wouldn’t want to live in a home while you’re filled with uncertainty because you used up your emergency funds. Make sure that your finances are ready to take the hit before you buy that house you’ve been eyeing.
Prepare your paperwork
Becoming a homeowner isn’t as easy as buying shoes from the department store. You generally wouldn’t just hand over your credit card then boom, you’re now a homeowner. It doesn’t work that way. It’s important that you have all the necessary paperwork prepared to process your mortgage as quickly as possible, as this would help you move in to your first home at the soonest. It’s also useful for getting a preapproved loan that will put you ahead in the market as sellers will see that you’re actually looking to buy.
Find the best fit
The first home you purchase shouldn’t solely depend on aesthetics. What’s a beautiful three-story glass house that’s way under your budget if you’re in the middle of nowhere? It’s important to find a home that not just fits your personal taste, but also complements your lifestyle in general. Finding a good neighborhood is just as important, if not more important, than finding the best house for you. For example, if you’re planning to start a family soon and purchasing a home with your partner, it’s best to find a house in a neighborhood known for its safety and good schools. It must also be a priority to find a home that fits your budget
Work with a real estate agent
Finding the best home for you is a tedious task in itself already, what more when it’s time to negotiate and complete your paperwork? Enlisting the services of a real estate agent will tremendously ease your burdens as a good real estate agent will help you find places that are within your needs and price range, as well as negotiate with the seller in every step of the process. Not to mention that your real estate agent will help you finish your paperwork quickly as well. With a competent real agent, you’ll also be able to avoid missteps that may put you in peril in the future.
The road to becoming a homeowner is a process. It will take time before you find the perfect home for you and you’ll have to wait a while before you’re able to move in. Remember that this is probably the biggest financial move you’ll make in your life, so it’s important to not rush it and to consider all the options that you have. Take all the time that you need to make the best decision for yourself and your future.