4 Things First-Time Home Buyers Should Do
Before you dive into this read today, find a minute to take a pause. In this moment, you are at a critical time in your life. You’ve found, along your journey, that now is the right time to make a purchase that could benefit you for a lifetime. There are many positive factors influencing the future of the US real estate market, from technological advancements automating the application process to the booming construction
industry. Your choice in securing a sustainable asset, that you can maintain despite market fluctuations, will provide a welcome safety net against the unexpected.
The best offense, as they say, is a flawless defense. Before you set your heart on a place, it’s important to secure your financial grounding. Here’s four moves that will place first-time home-buyers well ahead of the game.
- Commit to budget prep
If we consider our process metaphorically, as we would building a house from the ground up, the initial stage will largely influence the outcome of your future investment. Without a well-laid base, the structure rests on shaky ground. Your “brick-work” will involve some preparatory number-crunching, as you determine what funds you’re going to need to secure, to guarantee the buy happens.
With your “ins and outs” weighed up and balanced, it’s time to research the best finance options for your situation. Leverage the power of online aggregators and review sites and take the time to assess a range of opinions on home loan rates and providers. The US government offers a range of home financing schemes and resources, should you qualify.
Now, we’re not saying you have to break out your calculator, and compute like you’re John Nash Jr. —but it’s important to be realistic about what you have, and what you can afford to borrow. In the long run, it’s better to postpone those plans for a few months, if it means you can place yourself in a better financial position. When in doubt, do a credit check, and stabilize your earnings, before you apply.
Determining a “blue sky” amount, or the most money you would be willing to pay, and sticking with that will help take the pressure off your final purchase. This particular part of the process will depend on the homes you find in your search.
- Assess location values
While money is crucial, enduring happiness and trust in the value of your asset is essential. Take into consideration your costs of living, and extend your analysis one step further. How will this investment, if at all, affect the way you live today? Location is
fundamental, and the next steps of your search will rely on a general understanding of what places are in ideal proximity to where you work or where you have roots. With today’s increase in flexible working conditions, and accredited online and continuing education degree programs, there are plenty of ways to take your career into your own hands—and home. However, if the daily duties of the office are calling, take your commute into consideration, and how this will affect your quality of life overall.
Your personal situation is also integral to your search. If you’re planning to have kids, you might want to take local schools into consideration. Also, if your regular services, like your healthcare center in New Britain, CT, perhaps, become a far more difficult trip, will there be comparable service available when you’re sick?
- Assemble your team
After putting in hard hours of research, it’s time to take your notes on the road. Your first step should always be to visit a series of banking and lending professionals. Just as you will walk through the halls of potential homes in the coming weeks, don’t be afraid to meet with a few different client advisors at a range of banks, and get an understanding on how their processes differ, before you settle on your final financier.
Keeping up with your finances can be a taxing process, and sometimes life’s circumstances can get in the way. If you’re struggling to turn the tables on your debts, be sure to enlist a local legal professional before you make your next steps. Source a local specialist, like a bankruptcy attorney in Union, NJ, and turn today’s stresses into tomorrow’s solutions.
After your extensive research sessions, the results will start revealing themselves in the paperwork. At this stage of the process, you’re ready to enlistthe support of a professional real estate agent. From facilitating your mortgage services to guiding you through a series of homes, your agent is well-equipped to help you find your perfect abode. They will assist you in arranging open house visits, as well as private inspections, at a time that’s convenient for you.
- Inspect the goods
At your inspections, it’s time to play detective. Take a moment to scrutinize all the physical spaces. Don’t be afraid to quiz the agent as you walk around and size up its potential. You can easily get dazzled by the luxury of a well-presented home, but be sure to keep your eyes open for anything that looks off. Most realtors are happy to assist with pre-moving repairs, so always check.
We’ve prepared an inspection checklist for your stroll through potential homes:
Is there any existing damage to the property that isn’t addressed by your real estate advisor, and how would this affect an aspect of daily living? A working heating system is crucial to check but be aware of the smaller things too, like electrical output and the quality of the fittings.
- Is the home secure from intruders, from the doors to the window locks?
- How is the overall structure of the house? Look for any signs of wear and tear that may be indicators of future issues.
- Be sure to check out the restrictions on things like pets, smoking, subletting, guests and noise. While most homes will likely fall under local state regulations, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there may be additional housekeeping rules to be aware of.
As with any major life change, it’s important to expect and even prepare for the unexpected. It’s always a good idea to see if you can work home and asset insurance into your budget. Also consider the additional costs of moving and furnishing your new place. Setting aside a portion of your initial funds for these added extras, is a great way to prepare yourself for the cost of your first move.
Keep a handy checklist beside you as you go through the listings. Start up a fresh text-editing page, and type up the key details of your findings. If you’ve been bit by the organization bug, you could even develop this into a handy Excel-type spreadsheet template.