There comes a time in your life where the time is right for you to buy your first home. Whether you want to put an end to renting, you’re ready to invest or you want a space to call your own, buying your first home is a huge milestone. But it’s also a lot of work! As a big commitment, you need to make sure you’re ready for a lot of responsibility and know what to expect along the way.
With some exciting steps ahead of you, he’s a beginner’s guide to buying your first home.
Make sure your finances are in order
Making sure your finances are in order is something that’s very important before you buy a house. You will want to make sure that you’re debt-free and have got rid of unnecessary outgoings to help you with your savings.
It can take time to build up your credit history to make sure you’re a good candidate for a mortgage, but the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to make your dream of owning a home a possibility.
Now comes the hard part! Saving money for a down payment on a home takes a long time. You’ll likely need to make some adjustments to your current spending and even consider sacrificing vacations and other luxuries while you put the money aside.
There are a lot of ways you can save a little more each month. Try to have some ‘no spend’ days when you leave your money at home, and try to save on your groceries each week. It all adds up, helping you to reach your savings goals quicker.
Think carefully about the type of home you want to buy
As you’re saving, you can start to think about the type of home you want to buy. Are you buying a starter home? Do you want to move straight into your forever home? There are things you’ll need to establish as ‘must-haves’ while other things you may need to compromise on.
Get right down to the detail such as how many bedrooms, whether it has a backyard and the type of kitchen space that you want. Knowing what you want will make it much easier to start looking at properties.
Find out what you can afford
In addition to identifying your home ‘must-haves’, you need to be realistic and work out what you can afford. Finding out what you can afford and how much you’re able to borrow are very different things. While understanding how much you could possibly borrow for your home loan gives you an idea of what type of properties are affordable, the monthly repayments also need to fit into your finances. If you have several financial commitments or a lot of outgoings, then scaling back will help make sure that what you borrow is affordable.
Make sure you establish what your monthly repayments, bills and other expenses will be. If you’re buying a house that needs a lot of work, you’ll also need to factor this into your budget – something which could impact the type of house you buy.
Connect with a realtor
There are a lot of ways to look for homes on the market, and it’s even easier thanks to the internet. But there are still a lot of great reasons to buy a house with an estate agent. They can work to find properties that meet your requirements in your chosen area, and help you stick to your budget. They’ll have information on upcoming property sales and may even be able to recommend properties you’d have never considered buying before.
Real estate agents work hard, and as their commission comes from the seller, it’s an option worth considering when it comes to finding your dream home.
Make an offer
After browsing different properties and finding one you like, it’s time to make an offer. While it’s easy to get excited and immediately offer the asking price, there might be some wiggle room to get a better deal. You also need to be prepared for other people to be making offers, which can sometimes lead to a bidding war. Don’t overstretch yourselves to a price you can’t afford – there are other properties out there.
With your offer in place, there’ll be a waiting game. The seller will take the home off the market, and you will enter a period of escrow, which is when you’ll need to carry out inspections on the property to ensure there aren’t any serious problems.
Prepare to close
As you prepare to close, you’ll need to make sure you have all the paperwork in order, and have the money ready for your closing costs. Closing on a home can be nerve wracking and exciting, but it’s important to make sure all the necessary steps are carried out to ensure everything runs smoothly. Your attorney will be there to guide you through this process, and be prepared to sign a lot of paperwork!
With the home finally yours, it’s time to move in! Moving in itself can be stressful, so try to prepare and plan as much as you can – a decluttering session before you move will make sure you don’t take any unwanted items into your new home with you!
Now you’ll get to think about decorating and putting your stamp on your first home. Listen to advice from others and learn from their mistakes, there are tips for decorating your first home which could come in handy! It’s time to put those Pinterest boards to good use!
Buying your first home is an incredible milestone, and you should feel proud of your achievement. While there’s a lot of work that goes into saving, searching and sealing the deal on your new home, the end result will be worth it. Ready to get on the property ladder? Start putting those plans in place!