So you’re buying a home for the first time and are at a loss where and how to start. Buying a home could be scary and exciting at the same time since this will probably be the biggest purchase of your life so far.
These 11 guides to home-buying can help overcome your uncertainties about whether or not it’s the right time for you to own a house in your name.
1. Picture Your Dream House… and Set a Budget.
It’s important to know what you’re looking for in a house. Define how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, decide whether you should have a garden, a library or a two-car garage. For luxury property seekers, you may want to consider having a fully automated home, a pool, a spa, a wine cellar, a high-end kitchen and all other amenities that you want your dream home to have. Jade Mills, who specialized in
Jade Mills, who specialized in Beverly Hills real estate, usually tells her first-time buyers to take a moment and truly think of what they want in a house. The more vivid it is in your mind the higher your chances are to finding your dream home. However, she also advises setting a budget early on, as it helps narrow down the search, and allows her clients to be responsible with their money. A crystal clear picture of what your ideal location, preferred architectural style, and lifestyle will help you and your agent find the perfect home fast and easy.
2. Hire an Agent.
Register with a local estate agent and communicate your vision with them. Get to know your agent and let them get to know you. It’s important that you see eye-to-eye throughout the buying process and that you maintain a good relationship with them so they will likely contact you as soon as the perfect property comes up.
3. Find Out If The Property You Shortlisted Is Worth The Price.
Meet with your bank and get expert advice on how much you can afford and what type of mortgage you can avail.
Do the math and factor in all the expenses buying a house can incur throughout the entire process such as solicitor’s fees, lender valuation, survey fee, deposit, appraiser’s fee, furnishings cost as well as fixtures cost.
4. Have a Checklist of Your Finances
It is important to know where you stand financially and to have a clean credit line whether you can assume mortgage responsibilities when a financial crisis hit you.
Bankrate’s six-item checklist are as follows: the strength of your credit score, figure out what you can afford, save for down payment and closing costs, a healthy savings account, preapproved mortgage, and buy a house you like.
5. Know When a House Is a Fixer-Upper.
Fixer-uppers are risky investments and you may end up spending more on renovations than just buying an entirely new home. Get an inspector to check the actual condition of the property and its utilities to get an idea as to which responsibilities working on the house are waiting for you.
6. Research About Your Prospective Home.
Ask your agents all possible questions, search for the house’s history i.e. year it was built, how many families have lived in it, what were renovated, what are the original parts – this way, you’ll know whether the house is fairly priced or not. Ask for copies of utility, insurance, tax bills so you can have an idea of how much the house accumulates monthly, quarterly or annually.
Research about your neighborhood; look up school quality ratings, security, privacy, exclusivity, proximity to amenities, restaurants, and bars, distance from work, public transport and other factors that can affect your daily life.
7. Negotiate The Price.
A house’s price is not set in stone and if you have a good relationship with your agent, he or she may be able to help you work out a more desirable agreement. Just because the listing price says a certain amount, doesn’t mean you cannot put in an offer for ten to twenty thousand dollars less, possibly even more, depending on the market and the house.
8. Keep Your Sanity In Check.
Buying a house can take ages especially if you’re on the prowl for the perfect one. You may have to be flexible at some point if the house you think is perfect doesn’t exactly have an ocean view or that it’s an extra mile farther from downtown, etc. Shop around for mortgages too.
This is a major decision that you will have to live with it for the years to come so take your own sweet time and relax.