Shopping for Your First Home – Tips You Can Use
Once you make the big decision to start shopping for your first home, excitement kicks in as do nerves and stress. While it’s perfectly normal to go through a range of emotions during the experience, it’s also important to keep your head clear so that you make a decision that makes sense both from an emotional and financial standpoint.
Here are some tips you can follow that are meant to make the shopping experience for your first home as smooth and straightforward as possible.
Figure Out What You Can Afford
For those just getting their toes wet and entering the home ownership market for the first time, it can be pretty shocking as far as prices go and what you can afford on a monthly basis. To get a rough idea of what kind of repayment you’ll be looking at, you may want to make use of a mortgage payment calculator.
A mortgage calculator factors in the loan amount, the interest rate and loan period; giving you a monthly cost. The idea behind the calculator is that it can help guide you as to how much you can afford, helping to narrow down your property search.
Of course, getting approved for a mortgage is another step altogether, and something that will need to be done through a financial lending institution or a mortgage broker. You may even wish to be pre-approved, so you know what your maximum price limit is. You can then use a mortgage calculator during your shopping experience so you know what the repayment terms on different homes would be on a monthly payment basis.
Make a List of Wants and Needs
Before you start house hunting, you may also want to make a list of wants and needs. The wants are obviously the things you’d like the house to have, but can still live without. The needs are things the house absolutely needs to have and would be deal-breakers. Consider such things as nearby schools, your commute to work, shopping and dining, the neighborhood, and more.
Get Yourself a Real Estate Agent
Sure, you can look for a home on your own, but as a first-time buyer, it’s a good idea to seek the help of a professional real estate agent. A real estate agent will be aware of listings you just may not come across, plus they can offer you tips and advice along the way. They can be an excellent source of information when it comes to home values in the neighborhoods you like so you don’t end up overpaying for a house.
Make Sure You Do an Inspection
When the time comes, and you have found that “perfect” home and drawn up an offer, make sure that you include an inspection as part of the conditions. For this, you will need to hire a professional home inspector who will then go over the interior and exterior of the home looking for any possible issues. This can save you from purchasing a home that has all kinds of costly issues going on.
Taking the Plunge
By taking the time to follow a few simple steps, you will find you are much better prepared to take the plunge into home ownership.