If you're starting the process of looking for your first home, the whole process can seem daunting. The good news is that there are things you can do to help simplify the process. First and foremost, you should work closely with a local real estate agent. However, before you find yourself buying a home that you'll regret, there are a few other things to consider. Here are a few tips to help ensure a successful purchase.
You Won't Likely Find The Perfect Place
If you're focusing your home search on finding the perfect house, you're likely to be at it a while. In most markets, the perfect house is going to be hard to find. The key is to find a home that meets all of your must-have needs first. The best way to do this is to start by making a list of everything that you want in a home, no matter how inconsequential it may seem. Then, you can sit down and prioritize that list according to what is not negotiable, what would be ideal, and what you're willing to forego if you have the other features.
After you do this, you can provide that list to your real estate agent. He or she will search the available homes for sale and filter them according to your list of priorities. That way, you can ensure that the homes you see will at least have the features that are the most important to you. From there, you can narrow down the options based on the other features that you'd like, even if they aren't necessities.
Don't Be Short-Sighted About The Home Size You Buy
If you're recently married or you have a small family, you may think that all you need is enough space for your current family. Remember that it's easier to plan now for family growth than it is to have to either expand on the house or buy a bigger one later. If you really want to make this home purchase be a lasting one, look for a house that can accommodate any potential family growth that could occur in the next ten years. That way, you won't outgrow the house right away.
There Are More Costs To Consider Beyond The Mortgage
When you're setting your budget for your new home, one common mistake that first-time buyers make is overlooking the additional costs that can affect the purchase. Beyond just the mortgage, you'll also have to consider home insurance, property taxes, closing costs, and a down payment. Make sure that you have a clear picture of the costs before you settle on a home price.
Remember that just because your bank will approve you for a specific mortgage amount, that doesn't necessarily mean you can afford that mortgage payment when you add in the other associated costs. Create a solid budget with home insurance, tax, and other expenses factored in. Things like utilities and homeowners association fees should also be considered. You should also include a set amount each month that you can set aside for home repairs, because ownership also means being responsible for all of the repairs, too.
Be Realistic About The Home's Age And Condition
When you find a home that might be a good fit, it's important that you're realistic about the potential for necessary work when you move in. Have a complete home inspection done so that you can identify any possible issues with things like the roof, the foundation, and any pest control issues.
You'll also want to find out about the age of all of the major appliances. Anything that's nearing the end of its useful life should be addressed right away or at least factored into what you can expect to spend, because it will likely need to be replaced fairly soon. Even with a luxury home, there will still be repairs and work that needs to be done.