Buying a home can be as terrifying as it is satisfying. Being in my mid 20’s, I figured this was something I should research considering I may be purchasing my first home in the near future. This cheat sheet offers top home-buying tips from the experts. You can never have too much information when shopping for your home. From looking at your budget to examining closing costs, this list can help you from start to finish.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. A lot of times, people start looking for a home before they really understand how it works. A mortgage originator can help walk you through your finances, credit report, what you can afford, and how mortgage works. If you aren’t currently ready to purchase a home, they can recommend the best steps to take to get you there sooner. At Community 1st Credit Union our representatives are here to help you with this process! Not to mention, we have great competitive mortgage rates! For more information, click here!
- After getting pre-approved it’s very important to find a good realtor. Find one that is focused on helping you find a home that best suits your needs, not one who is focused on making money. A good realtor will work specifically for you and can offer professional insight from negotiations, inspections, as well as help you determine what a property is worth, etc.
- What type of home best suits your needs? You have several options when purchasing a residential property: a traditional single-family home, a townhouse, a condo or a multi-family building with two to four units. Take the time to sit down and actually list the pros and cons of each residential property based on your preferences.
- Many young adults want to buy a home with no money saved up. This can hurt you in the long run! SAVE MONEY FOR A DOWN PAYMENT! This will reduce your monthly payments and more importantly, you could save thousands of dollars in interest in the long run. Not to mention, it also means instant equity.
- See what you can afford. Look at your budget and determine how a house fits into it. Fannie Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28% of their income on housing costs. Go much past 30% and you risk becoming house poor.
- Consider renting if you think you’ll need to move soon. Given all the costs that come with buying and selling a home, if you don’t expect to keep your home for at least three to five years, you could very well lose money.
- The best time to think about selling your house is before you buy it. Be sure that the home you buy has features other potential buyers will find desirable, or you may not get a good offer when you put it on the market.
- Do your research. You can easily save thousands of dollars by shopping around for a good mortgage. Also, research the area in terms of crime, changes in property values, and anticipated changes (ex. construction). If you have children or are planning to have children in the future, check out the school districts in the area as well.
- Like people, all homes have problems. Don’t try to save money by skipping inspections. Have the home thoroughly inspected before you buy it. If in doubt, re-inspect!
- Buy the most comprehensive homeowners insurance policy you can. Make sure that you have coverage for major risks that can occur in your area.
- Don’t let unexpected closing costs hurt you. Estimate all the costs you will have to pay at the time of closing, including moving expenses, loan fees, insurance premiums and property taxes. Start saving early and over prepare! Better to be safe than sorry!
Until Next Time,