Buying a home is not a walk in the park. If you’ve decided it’s time to purchase your first home, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed over all the processes involved. There are so many things you should know, and do properly to avoid over-complicating the whole process. Of course, real estate agents will always answer your questions, but it pays to know the type of questions to ask, and answers to expect. That said, below are some things you should know before purchasing your first home.
- Available mortgages and how much you can borrow
This is the first step to take from the very start – what types of mortgages are accessible to you, and how much are you actually qualified to borrow. You don’t want to find your dream house, only to discover your credit score doesn’t qualify for the asking price. So, you should visit a lender or mortgage broker on time to get pre-qualified for the loan. Doing this will allow you to set your search parameters to show only those homes that your loan can meet.
Also, this will show agents and home sellers that you’re really serious and not just window-shopping. Another thing, don’t always settle for the first lender you meet. Look around more, and who knows you might get a lower rate from the next broker.
- Research real estate agents
Unless a friend or a family member recommended an agent for you, you’ll need to research to know their real functions. Even if it’s by recommendation, you still need to do a bit of research yourself. You’d want to know things like, credentials and experiences in the preferred city and neighborhoods. You want to hire an agent who has contacts that could be useful to you, and who knows the area and its nuances.
Ask them about crime rates, schools, and even imminent legislations that could affect things as businesses, traffic, development, etc. In addition, know who is a dual agent, and whether it can be of any benefit to you. Dual agent is someone that represents both parties (buyer and seller) in the same property. This is often frowned upon because it tends to create a conflict of interest.
- Consider the future
If you’ve a plan of growing a family in your new home or accommodating your aging parents in the near future, you have to factor in these things when searching for a home. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars in remodeling costs in the future just because you settled for a smaller space now. Take your time, and consider all these factors before deciding on a home.
- Budget for transitional costs
A lot of people don’t take this into consideration when planning to move, and this is not good. It’s advisable to plan for transitional costs to avoid unnecessary financial headaches. It can be paying movers or getting rid of furniture that won’t fit into your new home. What about the rent for your current home? How many more months do you have to renew the rent before you eventually move out?
- Home inspection will likely always find problems
Your home seller might tell you that there are little or no issue with the new home. But, always have a home inspector do a thorough investigation of the home to avoid spending hundreds of dollars fixing issues that should be fixed by the home seller. Whether it’s just a leaking pipe or a rotten window, have it all figured out before making payment.
It pays to do a little bit of research ahead of time before proceeding to purchase your first home. This way you can avoid possible pitfalls that could make your home purchase an unfulfilling experience. The above list is not all-inclusive but it should definitely get you started. Good Luck!