There comes a time in everyone’s life, when they have to buy their first home. It is an exciting thing to do and it’s definitely a step forward that we have to take in life. But most times, it can be as stressful as it is exciting. Unfortunately, moving into your own place isn’t all about redecorating and creating the dream house that you’ve thought about forever. No matter how ready you feel to get a fresh start and move into your own home, there’s still a ton of things that no one prepares you for.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the most important things that you should know if you’re buying a home for the first time.
Get Yourself Ready
Not many people realise that before going ahead and searching for an actual house, there’s a few other things that you should do. First and foremost, you should ask yourself if this is the best time for you to buy a house. Check your savings, your bank account, look a little bit into the future and try to predict whether you’ll be able to deal with having to pay mortgage. If you have a steady job and enough money for a down payment, you can get an even better estimation of your purchasing power by using free calculators that are offered by a number of companies online (L&C, Lendi, MoneySupermarket, Zillow etc).
Get a Real Estate Agent
After you got your numbers in order, the second thing that you want to do before you start house hunting, is get yourself a good real estate agent. The purpose of a real estate agent is to make buying or selling a house an easier process for the sellers and the buyers. So you might want to be careful and not end up with one that will make everything even more stressful that it already is.
The process of choosing a real estate agent shouldn’t be something quick, like choosing which shirt you should wear today. You have to trust this person with a very important decision that you’re going to make: buying a house. So before you sign a deal with someone, make sure you get to know them a little bit and that you trust that person, because his or her decision will influence yours more than you think.
Find the Dream House
And finally, we get to everyone’s favorite part! Or is it? House hunting sounds definitely much more exciting than it actually is. You always make scenarios in your head and it just doesn’t turn out the way you have thought it would. There are some tips that we could share with you, tips that can be useful when you’re going house hunting for the first time:
- The right neighborhood. Before starting to search for the property, you might want to think about the right neighborhood. This is a really important question, as you would probably want it to be decently close to work (or a school, if children are part of the equation), and that it’s an area with lower instances of crime.
- Don’t get distracted by easily-fixed features. There will be things that you won’t like in any home that you visit. It will never be perfect until you take it, own it and make it perfect.
- List of must have items. One thing’s for sure: you are going to see a lot of houses. So in order to help you narrow down your choices, you should first make a list of must-have items in your ideal home. If the houses don’t satisfy this criteria, you can take them off the list.
- Online Preview. We live in the digital era, everything is happening over the internet. Before going to see any house, check it out online first. Maybe it’s not even worth the trip. Or who knows, maybe online, you could find something appealing in another city, and you’ll get a chance for a completely fresh start.
- Second visits. After you decide that you’ve already seen enough homes, review all your choices and make a list of your top three. With the final candidates you should go and visit them all again. Chances are you’ll notice some things that you didn’t the first time around and it could help influence your final decision.
You may think that the struggle is over after you found the right house. Well, there’s still a few things that you have to do. First of all, you want to make an offer on that house and make sure you get a signed contract. After that, complete your mortgage application (this is the part with all the paperwork that nobody wants to go through), and then you can just leave the rest to your real estate agent. You’re a few steps away from your new house!
Buying a home, especially if it’s the first time, is definitely a tiring process. But the good part is that it’s an experience that you never forget. After all, it will most likely be one of the most expensive things that you’ll ever buy. Be patient, be well-organised and make sure you don’t forget a very important aspect: There is no perfect home; it’s up to you to make it perfect for you.