A Quick Guide to Buying Your First Home
The home-buying process is complicated; there’s no doubt about that. But it does not have to be stressful. From establishing a budget to what to do for closing, the following guide can get you started. So sit back, relax, and check out these tips.
Start with research.
It is never too early to begin thinking about what you want in a home. Make a list of features that appeal to you. This can help you formulate a budget and will serve as a starting point for your real estate agent. Spend some time looking online at houses that you think meet your needs. This is a great time to research school zones, crime, and property tax rates.
Crunch the numbers.
Money is usually the biggest factor when it comes to what kind of house you can reasonably expect to buy. Take a look at your budget to determine how much you can afford. If you know how much you can spend each month, you can work backward to determine what price range you’ll need to stick with.
Keep in mind that you will have to put money down—usually anywhere from 3 percent to 20 percent, plus closing costs. You also have the option to pay points on your mortgage, which lowers your interest rate and thereby your monthly payment. Tally some numbers to determine whether or not this is a good option for you, since it depends on things like the type of loan you choose and your personal financial situation.
Your real estate agent can help you narrow down properties that fit your needs and budget. Then, you can pay a visit to the ones that appeal to you the most. Don’t worry if you do not find a house right off the bat; some buyers look at dozens of homes before making an offer. Do be open-minded, and know that you might have to make some sacrifices to get a home in your price range, even if it doesn’t check all your boxes.
While a certain level of compromise is usually inevitable, Forbes notes you should never cave in when it comes to things like your budget, the location, and the home’s condition.
Check for safety.
When you do find a home that resonates with you, don’t jump to make an offer. Your real estate agent will be happy to take you back for a second or third viewing, where you can think objectively. Look for signs of issues, such as rotting wood, foundation damage and signs of rust or corrosion on pipes. Take a glance around the house so that you know where the electrical system and all points of egress are.
If something doesn’t feel right, you might need to look elsewhere. Either way, it’s in your best interest to hire a home inspector before you sign on the dotted line.
Make an offer and negotiate.
When you buy a home, you can expect some back and forth. The asking price is a good starting point, but, depending on the market and how long that particular home has been listed, there may be some wiggle room. Talk to your agent about making a reasonable offer.
What to do before closing day.
Now that you’ve chosen a house, made an offer, and had it accepted, it might be a month or more before closing day. During this time, there’ll be lots of moving parts, including a title search, the home inspection, and appraisal. There are often some negotiations involved, which Realty Biz News notes your inspection can provide leverage. If everything goes well, you’ll be moving in no time. If not, there may be some delays, but try not to stress and remember that your real estate agent has experience.
Purchasing a home is an involved process. Lean on your real estate agent for guidance and information, and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. These professionals know that you may only buy a handful of houses in your lifetime, and they travel this path every day.
Are you ready to take the plunge into homeownership? Let NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals help! Whether you’re looking for a savvy foreclosure or a prime piece of land to build upon, their expertise can guide you towards the best decisions, every step of the way. Get in touch by calling (970) 507-8655 today!
A special thank you to Tina Martin for writing this week’s blog post! Be sure to check her blog out for more great articles!