After years of saving, you’re finally in a position where you can start thinking about buying a home–congratulations! There’s nothing more rewarding than being handed the keys to your new place, but how do you find the right home?
There are plenty of considerations when buying property, helping you work out the type of home you want, your budget, and more.
If you’re shopping for a home, don’t make any decisions before reading this guide—here’s everything you need to consider when buying your first home.
It’s often said that the most important factors when buying a home are location, location, location, and we happen to agree! Location is one of the biggest considerations when buying.
If you find your dream home, but it’s in a bad location, you’re not going to be happy, your property won’t hold its value, and you’ll regret purchasing.
Location is not only about being in an area you love, but you also want to be close to amenities. Think about your morning commute—how long would it take from the new home, even in traffic?
You also want to be nearby to schools, shops, medical facilities, parks, and have easy access to the highway. If you find a house you love, but you’re not sold on the location, then it’s probably best to keep looking.
Another of the key steps to buying a home is getting a mortgage and finding a place within your budget. By now, you’ll have a house deposit saved up, so you’ll want to meet with mortgage lenders to work out how much you can afford to borrow and what interest rates you’ll qualify for.
Ideally, you want to do this before you start looking so that you’re in a position to make an offer as soon as you find the house of your dreams. Your mortgage offer will be based on a number of factors, including your credit score, income, and the amount of money you’re providing for your down payment.
Once you start searching, remember that price is often negotiable—you can make a lower offer than the asking price. It helps to be prepared for some back and forth negotiation, but you should be able to find an amazing home that fits within your budget.
What size home do you want? We recommend you think not only about the present, but about the future.
Will you want kids in the future? Will you be in a position where your elderly parents might move in with you? These are important considerations when working out how many bedrooms you prefer and what size of home you need.
When thinking about how to buy a home, know that you should never purchase without undergoing a home inspection. Even if a house looks perfect, it could be hiding serious structural or cosmetic issues that will cost you a fortune to repair in the future.
Hire an inspector to visit the home and do an inspection, looking for problems like mold, termite damage, HVAC or electrical problems, or other big issues. This home buyer’s checklist will give you more of an idea about what to look for.
If the inspection comes back with lots of red flags, it’s probably not the best property to purchase.
Another big consideration when buying is home maintenance. How much time, effort, and money do you want to spend on the new home?
Generally, the larger the home is, the more maintenance that will be required. Think of things like lawn mowing, gardening, vacuuming, cleaning, and painting—all of these tasks add up quickly.
Sure, it can be fun to have a spacious home and big backyard, but they require time each week to keep them looking their best.
If you prefer something more low-maintenance, a townhouse or condo might be a better option for your needs.
The local schools are a big consideration when buying. Many families move to certain areas so they can enroll their kids in good schools, so school districts are a huge factor when buying.
Even if you don’t plan to have kids yourself, living in a catchment zone for a fantastic school is going to add value to your property when you decide to sell, so it’s worth looking into the reputation of the local schools before buying.
It’s also helpful to think about local property taxes before buying, since they can vary massively from state to state. You don’t want to get stung each year with a huge tax bill that you weren’t expecting, so take the time to read through and understand all of the taxes that you’ll be responsible for if you buy.
This will include not only property taxes but also income tax and local taxes to cover your waste management, recycling pick-up, etc.
Buying a Home Is Easy With These Tips
A home is one of the biggest purchases you’re likely to make, so there’s certainly a lot to think about! If you’re buying a home, use this guide to help you with the process, ensuring you know what to expect.
Sure, it can take several months, or longer, to find the perfect house, but it’s worth the wait. Your beautiful new house will become a home, a treasured place for holidays, family gatherings, and special occasions.
Get started today and you’re sure to find your dream home!
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