Buying your first home is a big milestone in your life, and it’s not a step to be taken lightly. You’ll begin by looking into your finances, getting mortgage pre-approval, and determining a budget, and with that done, the hunt is on! Will your purchase become a dream come true or a living nightmare? Follow these tips to improve your chances of getting a home that’s right for you!
1. Don’t Miss Out on the Best Homes and Offers
What if your ideal home were to be placed on the market only for someone else to beat you to it? If you’re interested in a home in Bakersfield, for example, sign up for alerts when a new home in Bakersfield gets listed for sale. You should also develop a network of local realtors and keep an eye on local newspapers to see which houses are listed for sale.
But although you want to be the first to spot potential winners, and that means using your digital tools, don’t be in too much of a rush to close the deal. True, you might miss out on a home you liked the look of, but you could save yourself from committing to something that isn’t right for you, and regret it afterward.
2. Ask For Home Inspections By Professionals
Even if the home you fancy doesn’t look like a fixer-upper, there can be all sorts of hidden problems that will turn into real budget-busters. Some homeowners, eager to sell up fast, will already have had a professional home inspection done and can show you the reports.
If they haven’t done this, get one done yourself. Experts will have all the equipment needed to track down otherwise-invisible issues, helping you to decide whether you’ll buy as-is, negotiating a lower price, or insist that certain work should be done first.
3. Research the Neighborhood Carefully
Even the nicest-looking areas can have their own set of issues. You love the house, but it’s a million miles away from the nearest good schools, or that attractive-looking street turns into a crime-zone at night. Search online to find out about the things that may matter to you when choosing a neighborhood, and find an opportunity to talk to locals and get their perspective.
4. Don’t Lose Sight of the Long-Term
Always choose a house with the idea that you’ll live there for the rest of your life. You might do just that if you find the right one! If you’re a singleton, consider that you might just find your life partner and start a family. If you are already married, you probably have plans for a family, and so on. Think about your life-plans and how that may affect your housing needs. What suits you now, might not suit you at all in as little as five years! You should also consider potential growth in value. If you do sell, you want to make money rather than lose it!
5. Shop Slightly Below Your Budget
It happens to too many people: they spot the ideal home, but it costs a little more than they budgeted. But they’re in love with the place, so they go ahead. “We’ll make a plan,” they say to themselves. But life happens, and just keeping the home they bought becomes an uphill struggle.
They have the house, but they’re far from happy. There’s simply too much worry and too many financial demands. If you shop somewhat below your budget, you might be able to afford that home that’s going to cost just that “little bit more” without placing yourself in a stressful situation.
Being a homeowner can be a source of great pleasure for you – choose wisely and well so that you can enjoy the experience!