Buying a home is a big dream for many people and a major milestone.
The road to a home purchase can feel both exciting and challenging, and at times nearly impossible, and therefore requires a whole lot of planning.
House hunting is difficult as youíre looking for a home that works for your needs and itís also one of the largest financial investments youíll make. Therefore, to help you start on the right foot, weíve created a guide because there are some things to think about before buying your own house.
Write A Reasonable Wish List
Before you go out into the real estate jungle, itís important to think about what features your first home should have. What area do you want to live in and what type of house do you want? How big should the house be? Do you need to be close to public transport or the grocery store? Also, find out the final prices for the type of house you want. Can you afford it? Make sure to set up a reasonable wish list.
Start by listing requirements you are not willing to compromise on, such as the number of rooms, renovation needs, or proximity to work – it will be easier to narrow things down and make the final choice. Even if youíre not quite sure what youíre looking for, it can be smart to start going to different showings and open houses. You learn by looking, comparing, and asking questions about different spaces and can also more easily realize what it is you are looking for and what you are not looking for.
Something to keep in mind when buying a house is that it can take time, so start well in advance before you are in urgent need of your first house.
Before making an offer on a house you fancy, itís essential to be well-prepared in advance so everything about the home-buying process can run smoothly. The most important aspect is your finances and since buying a home is a costly affair, try to get informed and become aware of all costs that may cross your path.
For instance, when you take a home loan, you have to pay back the total amount borrowed as well as interest over time. The interest rate will be the same for the life of the loan with fixed-rate mortgages. However, the rate can fluctuate with adjustable-rate mortgages which can lead to an unexpected cost as you might be in a situation where you cannot afford your mortgage down the line.
You can use a mortgage calculator to determine your total monthly expenses for the house youíre looking to buy so that you can protect yourself. In addition, you might need to take out mortgage insurance in case youíre unable to settle your loan which ultimately leads to more costs.
Once you have found a house that you are interested in, itís good to look closely at the house’s exterior and things that can cost a lot to get in good condition.
If thereís a lot that needs to be renovated, it may be a good idea to bring a builder on a tour of the house to get an estimate of how much needs to be fixed and the approximate cost. Then you can more easily decide if you can afford to buy the house and get it in the condition you want.
Placing a Bid
If youíre not alone in wanting the house, the bidding may be in play. An offer is submitted by phone, via email, or text message. In most cases, the highest bid wins the deal but this is not always the case, as itís the seller who ultimately decides who is allowed to buy.
In attractive areas, the final price can be significantly higher than the original price. It may be wise to set an upper limit on what you want to pay before bidding. Your bid isnít binding until the contract is signed.
Upon Signing the Contact
Once you sign the papers and move into your new home, remember that homeownership comes with unexpected expenses so make sure to have an emergency fund so youíre not caught off guard when these costs come knocking on your door.
Make sure to always take excellent care of your home as regular maintenance can significantly decrease your repair costs.
If youíve just purchased your new home or are about to do so, there are a myriad of things to consider and plenty of decisions to make. However, if you have a proper plan in place, and a checklist in mind while house hunting, youíll have a stress-free experience and have things work out in your favor.