Tips for First Time Home Buyers
The decision to buy a new home after a lifetime of renting can be an exciting one, but it can also be terrifying. And rightfully so. The process is complex, the market is constantly fluctuating, and unless you know your footing every single step of the way, you could be courting disaster. Here are three tips for new home buyers that can help make your first home buying process as smooth as possible.
Focus on Fixed Features. If you view a home that is practically perfect in every way and ready for you to move in as-is, then that’s wonderful. But the vast majority of the time, we buy a new home based on what it could be, not just what it is. Be sure to pay particular attention to the immutable details of a home (such as the neighborhood, the lot size, which way the windows face, and what school district it’s in), rather than the elements that you can change (like siding, interior design, and landscaping).
Trust the Pros. Signs for homes for sale by owners can be an intriguing idea, but remember: if you choose to leave the real estate agencies out of the transaction, you and the seller must know exactly what you’re doing every single step of the way, from inspections to offers to financing to closing. And any mistake you make in any one of these areas could be very costly down the line. Real estate agents provide expertise, expediency, and the peace of mind that the process is being handled by someone who’s done it many, many times before.
Be Fiscally Frank With Yourself. Know your finances backward and forward before you begin the home buying process. If you’re coming from an apartment lifestyle, realize that you’ll be paying for things you’ve never had to worry about before, like water, garbage pick-up, and property taxes, just to name a few. Leave room in your budget for surprise costs as well as planned renovations. Your dream house can easily become a nightmare if it stretches you too financially thin.
The first time you buy a new home will always stand out in your memory. Do whatever you can to make it a memory you cherish, and not one you use as a cautionary tale to your friends. More.