Memorable Firsts: A Quick Guide for First-Time Homebuyers

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The first time is always the most memorable one — first kiss, first car, and even your first home. This is particularly true if you are buying your first house. Imagine all your hard work coming into fruition! But, as with all things “first,” you need to make sure that you dive in with your eyes wide open to avoid any problems in the future.

Plan Ahead

Like with any major decision that you are going to make in your life, you need to plan ahead. As such, you should have at least a 20% down payment with you before signing a contract. This will keep your monthly payment low as opposed to paying a smaller amount. Consider how much you need in a month to get by and factor in the monthly mortgage for the home, and you will have an idea of whether your budget is possible. Many online calculators can help you in computing these numbers.

If you discover that your budget is unwieldy, consider taking out a loan for first-time homebuyers to help you with the purchase. Before you sign the dotted line on the loan, though, do some pencil-pushing to ensure that you would be able to repay the loan on time.

It’s also a good idea to get the services of a real estate agent. You could find it difficult to visit every available home that is for sale in your area and complete the documentation on your own. Generally, houses that are up for sale have a real estate agent working with them to make the transaction easier.

Understand Your Non-Negotiables

Since you are already spending a significant amount of cash, why not go for a home that has all of your non-negotiable features. These features are different from your wants, and they vary from person-to-person. For example, if you’re particular about privacy, you’d insist on a home with tall fencing. Or if you’re concerned about security, you might only consider homes in a gated community. You can figure out what your non-negotiables are by visiting a few open houses and checking things that you want your house to have.

Of course, while doing so, you also need to keep your budget in mind. Just so you have something to compare your non-negotiables to, try visiting also homes that are over and under your budget.

Know the Costs

the cost of buying a home

Buying a home is not a straight-up deal. There are other costs involved, or “hidden fees” that may not be directly involved with the purchase of the home. For one, you will need someone to help you move your furniture from your previous home to the new one. At the same time, you would also need to pay for the lawyer who would be reviewing the contract if you want to make sure that you have all your bases covered.

Home inspections are another necessary and sometimes costly hidden fee. Do not sign on the acceptance form without bringing in a contractor who can take a look at the wiring and plumbing of the house. Check also for any hidden problems and see if you can have those addressed by the previous homeowner before making the down payment. Account for all these dues and expenses in your budget to avoid financial complications.

Buying your first home is a special occasion and deserves to be done properly. Use this advice to make sure that you can move in swiftly and comfortably into your first home.

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