As a first time homebuyer, that overwhelming feeling of stress and anxiety is completely understandable—buying a house can be a long and difficult process. The more you prepare yourself for the journey, the easier it will be. Here are 5 things to keep in mind as you navigate the market.
1. Create a Budget
It’s important to be realistic and determine a budget before you even start looking at homes. First time home buyers who neglect to follow this advice oftentimes find themselves either stuck with a mortgage they can’t afford, or heartbroken over a home they love but will never own.
2. Get Pre-Approved
Once you’ve established your budget, it’s time to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This is another step to take prior to beginning your house hunt—most sellers won’t take an offer seriously if you can’t prove you have a mortgage company backing the loan.
3. Determine Your Must-Haves
This is the fun part—it’s time to give serious thought to your future home. Are there certain features you absolutely need, like three bedrooms, a backyard, a garage? Make a list of the things you need in a home, then a list of your wants. This is another time you need to be realistic—unless you’re made of money, you’re going to have to make some compromises when buying a house. With enough forethought on the matter, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re willing to give up and what you can’t afford to.
4. Find an Agent You Trust
While it is possible to figure out how to buy a house on your own, it’s in your best interest to consult an expert. Do some research and find a realtor who’s highly regarded and a good fit for you. Realtors know the laws and regulations to follow, and will make sure the transaction of buying a home is done properly.
5. Pay for an Inspection
Once you find your future home and your offer has been accepted, it’s time to ensure your future investment is in the best condition possible. Pay an expert to perform and inspection to identify any major or minor issues that need attention. This is your time to ask the seller to fix any deal breaking issues or re-negotiate the purchase price as necessary. With a proper inspection, you won’t have to worry about any big surprises when you move into your new home.
First Thing’s First
Before you start on your journey to homeownership, consider using a storage unit to house your belongings as you start packing to prevent having boxes litter your home for months before and after move in. Bonus—keep the storage unit after you’ve moved into house seasonal items and belongings you don’t have a place for, but aren’t ready to part with.
Don’t forget to enjoy the journey to homeownership!