10 Tips Most First-Time Home Buyers Don’t Consider
Think long-term and think re-sale: You never know what might come up in your life, but you need to think about the possible things that could come up. You might have children, you might need to take a parent into your home when they get older, you may not plan to stay in the house past a few years. If you buy a house in a very bad school district or a house on a very busy street, when you are ready to sell the house, most families with children will be out of your list of potential buyers. These are very important questions to ask yourself.
Make a list of items to check: Home-buying is an emotional process. Ideally, you should set aside all your emotions when evaluating a house. Make a checklist of your requirements.
Look at ALL the expenses: You need to add up the interest, taxes and insurance, and utilities as well. You can’t just look at the cost of the house, and say yes, I can afford the mortgage. You can’t just buy the house and that’s all. You’ve got to pay for lights, gas (which is an important consideration if you’re commuting), city fees if there are any. Do not overlook the other monthly expenses of the potential house instead of just the monthly mortgage.
Research grants and other sources of funding: There are many different options based on profession such as grants for teachers, and farmers, for example. Research all the grants and funding options you are eligible for before you automatically decide you won’t qualify for anything.
Be sure to read your contract before you sign it: A house is probably the largest purchase you will ever make in your life, so make sure you understand the terms of your contract. If you don’t understand any of the terms, ask your mortgage broker and your real estate agent.
Learn about the neighborhood demographics: If you are buying a house in a neighborhood full of renters, it only takes a few bad renters or bad landlords to drive the neighborhood down fast. If the neighborhood is full of single people, will you be happy there if you have very young kids?
Look beyond the staging: The psychology does work; staged houses look far better than houses that are still being occupied. When you are considering a house, mentally try to remove the staging. Pay more attention to the layout of the house and the structure itself. Ugly wallpaper and paint can be easily fixed later.
All the old advice about buying your first home is true. Some examples — have an emergency fund, save for a down payment of 20 percent, get your credit into a better shape and don’t buy more than you can afford.