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  • Michael T. Berger, MBA

6 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Shopping for a house isn’t the same as shopping for a pair of sneakers or a makeup kit! You’ve got to be on top of your game in order to get that house of your dreams, else you’ll end up with a house that’s totally wack!

That's not all. Getting a house of your own for the very first time can be a time-consuming and stressful experience, to say the least. All that moving around from one house to the other or surfing on the internet in order to get something that suits your personal preference can be nerve wrecking. More so, the search for the perfect house either on the internet or through a real estate agent can be energy-draining especially given the temptation to settle for just about any house that fits your price range. However, the strain and stress first time home buyers experience can be lessened considerably when they follow certain tips that will guide them on what to consider before buying, what to expect from the whole buying process and some other helpful tips to make the process of buying a house go smoothly and also guarantee that you have no regrets in the future with your purchase.

Here, check out these helpful tips that will come in handy for first-time home buyers.

Know the picture of the house you want in mind

This here is the first step every potential house buyer should undertake. Don’t just plan to have a house having a white picket fence and all; you need to have an idea of the type of neighborhood you want to live in and also know the exact house you want then you aren’t likely to settle for a house that isn’t up to par with your expectations. While it’s good to have a wishlist indicating the type of house you want, you also need to understand the fact that you might not be able to get a house that suits your preference; just like we humans aren’t perfect know that no house is going to be without fault.

For every house you find, make sure you check it out thoroughly before making a decision, look past the obvious and see the potential in every house in order to make a sound judgment. If you decide to settle for an old house, ensure you give it’s structuring, infrastructure and the plumbing a thorough investigation in order to notice its flaws and determine if repairing them wouldn’t cost you a fortune.

Be conscious of your finances

In order not to lose your dream house due to lack of finance you need to ensure that you are financially balanced enough to obtain the type of house you desire; be conscious of the fact that you are not the only one on the market looking for the perfect house. Meaning if you aren’t prepared financially the instant you get the house you want it could be taken over by another before you know it. In terms of financing, you should be able to afford a mortgage that is thrice your income and if you plan to take out a loan you should, first of all, observe monthly cash flow in order to know how your money is being spent. Also, while trying to get a loan in order to pay up the mortgage of the house you have in mind; your monthly income will go a long way in convincing money lenders to give you a loan and if you are the type who is self-employed you might experience some difficulties in getting a loan since you don’t have a steady source of income.

Compare mortgage rates

While getting a mortgage for a new property, the common mistake first-time buyers make is jumping at any mortgage offer they get and that doesn’t come as a surprise since they don’t have any previous experience in this area. This is a bad move that could cost them more than necessary.

It’s not advisable to get a quote from just one lender rather you should compare and consider mortgage rates from 3-4 lenders so you can save a lot of money within the first five years of your loan. Hence, if you know you’ll need to take a mortgage for the property you are about to purchase keep in mind that it’s imperative to get three quotes or more then compare them all in order to get the one that’s more cost-effective.

Evaluate your preferred neighborhood

Even if the property is the kind of neighborhood you’ve always wanted, one rule of thumb is that you should give the area a complete once-over. Visit the area at regular intervals and at different times, on weekend, evenings and early in the morning during the rush hour in order to know how well you’ll be able to adapt to the environment. You can also make inquiries from neighbors and people who have lived in the area in the past in order to also learn a thing or two from their own personal experience.

While assessing the neighborhood, make sure you are open-minded and not being too particular so you don’t pass up a perfectly normal neighborhood as a result of your own high expectations. There’s no way you’ll get a perfect neighborhood and a perfect house at the same time, therefore be open to unexpected good surprises.

Make an offer

Since you are new to all this, it’s advisable you make inquiries regarding the price homes in the area of your choice have sold for in the past and also their current rates on the real estate market before agreeing to any price. Also, while you are trying to determine the price of a property, it’s advisable for you to consider the price of the house in terms of the monthly installments rather paying more attention to the total price for the property.

A real estate agent will come in handy while you are trying to make a deal for a house, so you don’t make any errors or get cheated. Hire a skilled and experienced real estate agent (like us) who will help you in the course of all your transactions with the seller. After the agent decides on a price for the property then the choice to accept or continue haggling to get a better deal or drop the deal completely is left to you. Note, before you settle for any deal you need to seek the help of a home inspector who will help you check the house for any rotten eggs and then you can use these findings (if there’s any) to turn the deal to your favor or call it quits. Remember that since you aren’t a pro in making home deals you’ll be in safe hands if you seek for the service of a seasoned house agent.

Seal the deal or call it quits

If you get to this stage while trying to buy that home if your dream, chances are, you are okay with the going price and you’ve made a deal with the seller. If the home inspection also went smoothly without you or the home inspector finding serious faults with the house that could dig a fat hole in your budget then there’s no doubt that you are ready to close the deal on your house! And this is the part where you sign a lot of documents that would cement your deal and other necessary things needed to make you the rightful owner of the house. All the documents will be signed within a short period of time so that's a lot of work on its own. Asides from signing documents that grant you ownership of the property you also have to handle payment for getting your home appraised. To this end, you have to do a title search in order to make certain that no one other than the seller has a claim to your new property then you can proceed to completing your mortgage paperwork if you obtained one.

There, you have the steps and procedures that would guide you against making a fatal mistake while on the lookout for a house, be rest assured that with the above-mentioned tips you are guaranteed to get a great house without having any regrets afterward.

Now that you are fully equipped on how to get the house of your dreams with little or no stress, here are some other tips that would ensure that you don’t regret ever buying that dream house!

  • Don’t forget to continue saving because now that you are a homeowner you’ll constantly have to deal with unexpected expenses. If you don’t want to be caught in a tight situation then you should cultivate a saving habit right away.

  • Preserve and maintain your investment. If you don’t want the house you invested so much in to lose its elegance anytime soon then you should perform regular maintenance on it since your property isn’t capable of cleaning up itself.

  • Keep up the saving culture until you are finally able to pay up your mortgage then you can use the extra cash to settle other household bills.

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