Buying a home isn’t an investment you want to end up being a poor decision, but it can feel impossible to do everything properly because of all the steps involved. Research is one of the most important steps for first time homebuyers. And what’s the best form of research—other people’s mistakes. There is always something to learn from others who have gone before you, so we’ve compiled a list of the most valuable lessons other first time buyers earned in their search.
Lesson #1: Don’t go it alone
Purchasing a home requires a variety of moving parts. There is much more involved then browsing home listings to find your favorite home. From the loan options and qualification all the way to the negotiation and closing, you could find yourself lost and confused at any point in the process. Avoid as much frustration as possible by hiring a real estate agent who can help you make the right decisions for your first home.
Lesson #2: Save, save, save
There is just no way around it. Get prepared for your down payment, closing costs and any other miscellaneous expenses that may come up. Conventional loans require 20 percent down, so depending on the home you choose your down payment can get a but hefty. If you qualify for a loan that does not require the full 20 percent, you will be required to pay mortgage insurance (PMI). Either way, having a substantial amount of savings will go a long way towards your first home.
Lesson #3: Take your time
This may be one of the hardest lessons. House shopping can make you anxious to find a home immediately. And if you don’t find your dream home right away, you may get frustrated. Try to manage your emotions by being patient. Rushing into a decision might lead to buyer’s remorse, and there’s just no way to return or exchange—even with your receipt.
Lesson #4: Don’t stop saving
Once you reach your savings goal it can be tempting to forego your savings plan. Not so fast though because your expenses may change once you move into your home. Start building an emergency fund for unexpected expenses and extras like larger utility bills and home repairs.
Lesson #5: Check the home out yourself
Home inspectors are quite helpful with identifying faulty areas in the home, but far too often first time homebuyers rely solely on the home inspectors to catch every detail. This is your home, which means you are responsible for any issue that arises after you purchase the home. Pay attention to every single detail of your home. During the inspection ask questions, take notes and remember you are inspecting the home with the home inspector.
Buying a home for the first time is exciting, but the process can become very intimidating. Save yourself a few headaches by contacting one of our agents at 123 My New Home and we can help you navigate the process and save you thousands.