Buying your first home is a huge milestone for most people, more than any other purchase that you make you need to be prepared with as much knowledge as you can get. Here are some tips for the first time home buyer so the transaction can go smoothly.
1. Meet with a mortgage broker: The first thing you want to do is assess your financial situation and to see how much of a mortgage you can qualify for, then start house hunting.
2. Monthly Payments: Your monthly mortgage payments should never exceed 30% of your income. There will be other expenses that you have to meet and you need to make sure you can afford all of your obligations.
3. Decide the Features You Want: Start making a list of everything that you would love to have and then divide it up into what you must have versus what is a luxury. The number of bedrooms might fall into the “must have” category whereas a fireplace is a want.
4. Where do You Want to Live: What do you need to be close to, work, schools or do you want to live in the heart of the city? Do you want to spend the foreseeable future driving an hour back and forth to work? What about schools? You may not have children now but are they part of your future plans. Location is probably the most important feature in buying a home.
5. The Neighborhood: Is the neighborhood itself quiet or noisy? Are there a lot of kids around, are you close to nightclubs, highways or anything else that will disturb your peace and quiet.
6. Be Aware of Closing Costs: The purchase price is not the only thing you need to pay there are also costs associated with buying a house. Find out your closing costs before you sign on the dotted line.
7. Moving Costs: This is more than just hiring a moving van it is also all of the other expenses you are going to have. Are the appliances included or will you have to purchase those as well? There will be window treatments, shower curtains and lots of other miscellaneous things that go with moving into a house. Don’t forget that your monthly expenses are going to go up as well, now you will have to pay taxes, homeowner fees, insurance, maintenance and utilities. There will also inevitably be things that need to be fixed, it may be something as minor as a dripping tap but now the responsibility of fixing it is all yours.