What You Should Know Before You Buy Your First Home
Getting ready to buy your first home can be nerve-racking. If you’re like most buyers, your home is the largest transaction you’ll ever make, so it’s only natural to proceed with caution. As with any major decision, you can never be too prepared.
Here are 5 Things Every First-Time Homebuyer Needs To Know:
1. When To Begin Looking At Homes For Sale
Despite what you may think, it’s never too early to start your search, especially if you’re planning to buy an area with high demand. From start to finish, the entire process of buying a home can easily last for several months, and there are plenty of factors that can cause a deal to fall through unexpectedly.
Even if you’re locked into a long-term lease, you can begin preparing to buy your first home by researching neighborhoods to identify the most desirable areas within your budget.
2. How To Choose The Right Neighborhood
One of the first steps of buying any home is to thoroughly research the neighborhoods you’re interested in. Even if you’re planning to buy in the neighborhood where you already live, there are a few key details you’ll want to look into before making any commitments:
- Ratings of local schools
- Crime rate in the area
- Climate/ potential risk of natural disasters
- Property taxes
- Real estate market trends over the past several years
- Demographics of active buyers in the area
These factors will impact not only your lifestyle, but even your home’s value as well.
3. How To See Past Clever Staging
If the homes you’re viewing have been staged, it’s important to judge the property itself, regardless how it’s being presented. For example, many stagers will strategically pull furniture out away from the walls in order to make a room feel larger; don’t be afraid to inquire about a home’s square footage!
You’ll also want to make sure that the home is safe and up to current building codes. Hiring a professional home inspector to look over the property can help you safeguard yourself against costly repairs after you move in.
Lastly, remember to keep an open mind about how a given space can be used. A spare bedroom can always be transformed into a home office, a place to work out, a room for crafting or other hobbies, or even an area to store extra belongings.
4. How To Choose The Best Financing Option
It’s always a good idea to speak with an accountant before you decide how to finance your home purchase. Discuss the price ranges you’re comfortable with and how much you can realistically put down. Your accountant should be able to advise you on the best way to determine your budget, as well as the tax implications of your choice of financing.
To further your research, get in touch with mortgage lenders and inquire about their various programs. Getting pre-approved for a loan ahead of time can also help to make your offer more compelling, especially if you become part of a bidding war.
5. How To Protect Your Earnest Payment With Contingency Clauses
Including contingencies in your offer letter can help you recoup your earnest payment if the transaction cannot be completed. As the term suggests, a contingency clause lets the seller know that your offer is only valid if certain criteria are met. Some common types of contingency clause include those regarding:
- Safety inspection
- Title report
Essentially, including contingencies in your offer allows you to walk away from a property without suffering financial loss.
Are You Ready To Buy Your First Home?
There’s nothing more exciting than beginning the search for your next home! Make sure you check out our nationwide inventory to see what’s available in your area. Feel free to contact our friendly experts for more information about our listings!