Buying a home is a big deal, both in the excitement factor and the investment reality. It’s easy to focus on what you want vs. what’s best for you in terms of affordability, home condition, location and your future. If you’re buying your first home, here are 10 tips to help you make a good decision.
1 Know the financial implications.
Talk to a mortgage lender and determine how much home you can afford.
2 Save for a down payment.
Depending on your financial situation, you may be required to put down as much as 20%
3 Be aware of your credit score.
You may need to bring it up to qualify for a mortgage, and your score will help determine your interest rate and loan terms.
4 Consider different property types.
What’s best for you? A single home, a townhome, a condo? All have pros and cons depending on your lifestyle preferences.
5 Pick the right neighborhood.
What matters to you? School districts, urban or suburban amenities, transportation, privacy, safety and other factors will be part of your home experience.
6 Consider your future.
Are you planning a family? Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? Choosing the right home for today and tomorrow can save you the money and hassle of moving again.
7 Be realistic about home improvements?
Do you want a home that needs work – or one that’s already perfect? Be realistic about your home improvement skills, and the time and money it can take to handle repairs or renovations.
8 Get a home inspection.
Curb appeal and a nicely decorated interior can mask structural problems. Get a professional evaluation so you’re aware of any issues.
9 Work with a professional.
Find a real estate professional to help you navigate the home search and purchase process. Vanguard Realty Associates loves first-time buyers!
10 Read this helpful article from NerdWallet for more detail about preparing for your purchase!