Buying your first home is like a dream that takes hard work and commitment to be turned into reality. The entire process might seem overwhelming, given how many aspects you need to take care of before the home is finally in your name. The number of choices available doesn’t make it any easier. And yet, the search for one’s dream house doesn’t abate, which is quite evident from the figures released by the US Census Bureau, which reveal that 719,000 new houses were sold at a median sales price of $330,800 in November 2019 alone.
If you too are looking to invest in a property and are unsure where to start, here are some tips that can help you.
Hire the Right Agent
Find an experienced and trustworthy real estate agent, who has in-depth knowledge of the area that you are looking at for a house. This includes not just the pricing, but also the various state laws and regulations. A good real estate agent will ease the entire process for you by screening homes, based on your specific needs, fixing up meetings with the landlord, getting a thorough inspection done of the property and even taking care of the paperwork. This will take a whole load off your shoulders.
Start Saving Early
Owning a home is a costly affair because you have to look into every single detail – maintenance, repair costs and the fixed expenses. Start building your savings well in advance to save yourself from any sudden financial blow in the future. This will also mean that you might need a lower loan amount, which is easier to repay.
A good way to start saving is to clear off all existing debt first. Next, start saving small amounts regularly, so that by the time you move into your home, you have enough funds to take care of all the moving in expenses and to decorate the home your way.
Set a Realistic Budget
Weigh your options and funds well and create an appropriate budget. Draw an estimate of how much you can afford and try to stick to it. Buy a house with a firm budget in mind and try not to let emotions influence your purchase decision. Consider the loan repayment schedule as well. And, look for properties that cost a little less than your budget. This way you can leave some room for after moving-in expenses.
Check the Closing Cost
During a real estate transaction, a closing cost must be kept in mind to help set the right budget. This cost includes home inspections, supervision of the buying and selling agreements, homeowners insurance and title searches. It will not include your personal costs, like packing and moving or redecorating. While preparing for closing, make sure you have checked and understood every document. Don’t hesitate to ask your agent to explain anything that you are unclear about.
Explore the Location
Pick a house that is located in close proximity to schools, hospitals, markets and your place of work. If you commute by public transport, check for bus stands or subway stations nearby. The neighborhood is also an important factor to tick off before purchasing a house. Settling for a house by checking the property alone is not a sensible decision. You need to check the rules and regulations of the area and who your neighbors will be. Check the crime rates in the area to determine how safe it is. Take a note of the noise levels, pollution and the traffic situation too.
Buying a home is a big decision. However, will a little planning and forethought and the support of a skilled real-estate agent, the experience could be a stress-free and rewarding one.