If you are about to purchase your very first home, then it is an exciting time. From saving up enough money to finding the perfect place and then buying it, you will have a real blast. Of course, it can be a roller-coaster ride at times with delays or unforeseen issues coming into play, but that is all part of the process. The main thing to focus on is the amazing new home you will have when everything has been completed. That first time you put the key in the lock of your own home is magical!
Buying a house or apartment is naturally a big financial commitment to make. House prices in the US now average out around the $200,000 mark, which is a lot of money. This makes taking your time when buying a property key. As a first-time buyer, this is even truer as you will not have the experience of buying previous property to fall back on. With so much to think about and take in, you may feel a bit daunted by it all.
There is no need to worry though! With the right approach and key factors in mind, you will soon find that perfect home.
Essential elements to any home search
If you are making the decision to purchase your first home, then the below are some of the most important things to consider:
- Try to have a big down payment to use – to buy your first home, it is really worth saving up as big a down payment as you can. A down payment is simply the money you will put in personally to buy the house. Of course, if you can afford to buy it outright, then all the better! In reality though, most people pay for some of the new home with this down payment and then borrow the rest from their bank in the form of a mortgage. It is much better if you can have at least a 20% down payment to use here. This will not only mean that you borrow less from the bank but also get a much better interest rate to pay back and no need to pay for mortgage insurance. Later on you can get a mortgage refinance loan if the rates drop.
- Consider taking out a home warranty – another great first-time buyer tip is to think about taking out a home warranty plan. This is protection that you pay an annual fee for, which then covers any repairs or replacements needed for common household appliances or systems. It not only gives you peace of mind from unforeseen breakdowns blowing a hole in your finances but also helps keep your home in top condition. As above, there is a home warranty cost involved, but you need to weigh the cost against the money it will save in the long term.
- Location – location is incredibly important when choosing your first home. Not only so that you can be happy living there, but also so that you will get a decent price if you decide to sell in the future. You should take the time to check out the location before putting an offer in for a house. Key things to look for are the crime rate, what local amenities are close by, how well-kept the area is, and if there are good schools nearby. You should also think about how close the location is to work and how it will affect your daily commute if you live there.
- Plan out your budget – one vital thing to think about when looking for a property is how much you can spend. Take the time to plan this out before you start looking so that you can focus your search on homes you can actually afford. Otherwise, you will waste a lot of time finding homes you love but cannot have. It is also crucial to plan out how much your monthly budget will be for bills and your mortgage payment. Again, this will help you to find houses that you can afford to pay for each month.
Buying your first home is fantastic
There is no doubt that buying your first home can feel a bit scary at times. With the amount of money involved and the grown-up nature of the whole process, you would not be the first to feel like this. However, you should also remember that owning your own house or flat is fabulous. Not only does it give you a base to plan your next trip abroad from, but it also gives you the freedom to live your own life, exactly how you wish.