Thursday, September 27, 2018

Essential Things To Do Before Buying Your First Family Home

The decision to buy your first home is a huge one for the entire family. It’s exciting, of course, as you’ll finally have a place that’s yours and yours alone, but it’s also complicated, stressful, and incredibly expensive. Even the smallest of mistakes throughout this process can leave you with major costs that completely ruin your budget. For this reason, it pays to be informed and prepare for what’s to come. With that in mind, here are thirteen essential things you need to do before you buy your first family home.

1. Understand Your Credit Score
Although there are a few factors that determine your loan terms, your credit history is certainly one of the most significant. For this reason, you need to ensure that you know your credit score, understand what it means, and take steps to improve it if necessary. This is crucial if your score is lower than 700. There are lots of ways for you to boost your score, including reducing your debt, paying your bills on time, and registering on the electoral roll. Make sure that you do these things and more before you apply for a mortgage.

2. Shop Around For Lenders
Before you even start looking for houses, it’s always a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This essentially means that you will get the loan you need when you need it, just as long as your financial situation remains the same. This is a crucial part of the home buying process, as it shows sellers that you’re ready and able to purchase their property. While you should get pre-approved as soon as possible, it’s also important that you shop around and find the best deal you can. This could potentially save you thousands over the years on repayments.

3. Budget The True Cost
Many first time buyers mistakenly assume that the house itself is the only real cost they’re going to have to pay throughout the buying process, most of which, of course, would be covered by the mortgage loan you apply for. Unfortunately, this is far from true. While the property is certainly the biggest expense, you’ll also have to consider all of the other fees that come with a home purchase, including property taxes, insurance, repairs, association fees, moving costs, and so much more. Make sure that you consider and budget for all of these additional expenses.

4. Start To Save Up
Ideally, you should have started to save up for your home long before you decided to put in an offer. If you didn’t, however, there are still plenty of ways to save up the cash you need. It won’t be easy, of course, but with some time and a few cutbacks, you should have enough to cover the down payment, repairs, and all of the other expenses. You can start saving by eliminating unnecessary costs from your monthly budget. These might include meals out and coffees before work. You should also make sure that you shop around for everything you buy.

5. Don’t Affect Your Finances
After you’ve been pre-approved for your mortgage loan, you need to make sure that nothing you do could affect your financial situation. Any changes, regardless of the size, could cause your loan request to be denied when you go to purchase your home. For this reason, your job needs to stay the same, and you should avoid making any big purchases or applying for any other credit of any kind. You should also do your best to keep up with your current bills and try not to miss any payments. As long as you do this, you should have no loan issues later on.

6. Work With Experienced Realtors
Every home and neighborhood in the world has unique qualities, benefits, and drawbacks that you’ll want to know about before you decide to buy. Thankfully, an experienced and well-informed realtor should know about all of these little things, which can help you to find the perfect house and avoid you having to pay more than you should. With that in mind, it’s always a sensible idea to work with a real estate agent when purchasing a home. Many first time buyers avoid this to cut costs, but, what most don’t realize is that it’s the seller that has to pay the realtor and not you.

7. Know What You Want
Real estate agents can help you to find the property of your dreams, but they’re only able to do this if they know exactly what you want. They’re not mind readers, after all. Because of this, it’s important that you take the time to list all of the qualities and features you want your home to possess. This way, you won’t be suggested Manhattan apartments when you were after a Pelangi Damansara condo. Just make sure that you keep your desires flexible and understand that you may have to compromise on a few things at some point.

8. Use A Reputable Inspector
Once you’ve narrowed down your options and start to attend viewings, you’ll want to find a reputable home inspector to take a look around too. While it’s important that you give a thorough inspection yourself, it might be difficult for you to spot all of the potential issues the properties you’re viewing have. Thankfully, a home inspector can give you a clear picture of the state of each of the homes, ensuring that you don’t pay for something that isn’t worth the money. Your real estate agent may recommend an inspector to you, but you could always find one yourself.

9. Picture Your Life There
It may sound a little silly, but, sometimes, the house buying process can get so intense that you just want to buy a home and get things over with. Unfortunately, this could leave you with an investment that you don’t actually want. Because of this, you need to make sure that you actually like the property you’re bidding for. If you can’t picture your life there, and you’re not even a little bit excited for the future, then it simply isn’t the house for you. There’s no harm in saying no to place after place until you find somewhere you genuinely love.

10. Overlook Any Minor Flaws
That being said, there are a few minor issues that can make it difficult for you to imagine living in the house you’re viewing. These tend to include horrible flooring, garish wallpaper, and even the current homeowner’s belongings cluttering up the place. Instead of rejecting homes for these flaws, you should try to look past them and have some vision. After all, the walls can be painted or repapered, and flooring can be changed. The homeowner’s things will also be gone long before you move in. You shouldn’t pass on a place simply because the seller didn’t neutralize it.

11. Accept Your DIY Limits
From completing small repairs to repainting entire rooms, most new homeowners have a lot of DIY to do before they can move into their new property. However, there is a big difference between doing your new home up a little and completely renovating the place. Although fixer-uppers are a lot cheaper than homes that are ready to go, they require a lot of time, money, and work, which you may not be able to give. For this reason, you need to make sure that you accept your limits and only agree to complete works that you’re actually able to.

12. Plan For Your Furniture
Unless you plan to purchase all new furniture for your property, there are going to be plenty of things you need to bring with you. With that in mind, you need to make sure that you take measurements during viewings so that you can check if and where your chairs, beds, tables, and more are going to go. If you do plan to buy new pieces for your new home, then you’ll want to purchase a property that a reasonable price. Otherwise, you won’t have enough cash left over to buy everything you need later on.

13. Decide With Your Head
When you’re looking for somewhere for your family to live, emotions are naturally going to have some influence over your decisions. However, it’s crucial that you don’t allow them to take complete control. While you shouldn’t purchase a home simply because it’s cheap, you also shouldn’t buy one just because your toddler loves it. A bad deal is always going to be a bad deal, regardless of how you may feel in your heart. For this reason, you need to keep a business head on and always be prepared to walk away if anything starts to get too costly or stressful.

Buying a family home is a thrilling experience, especially the first time around, but it can also be scary and incredibly confusing. To avoid any unnecessary costs or worry, you need to make sure that you’re properly prepared and understand what lies ahead. Hopefully, with the tips and advice above, you’ll be able to find a perfect forever home for you and your family.

1 comment:

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