Buying your first home can be an exciting journey! However, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you begin the home buying process. This list is by no means all inclusive, but may help you to know the things you should be thinking about early on.
1. Can you Commit?
One thing to keep in mind when buying a home is that you’ll probably be in it for at least a few years. Unlike renting, where you can pick up and move every six months, owning a home requires a level of commitment. Between the cost of moving and the cost of the transaction, you’ll want to be sure to pick a location that you’ll be happy to call home for the next few years.
2. Securing Your Credit.
Poor credit can come back to haunt you when applying for a home loan. As such, you’ll want to ensure that your credit is as clean as possible. Your best bet is to get reports of your credit from the big bureaus months before applying for a loan. This will give you the chance to fix any errors on the report.
3. Have a Budget and Stick To It.
“What’s another $500 a month?” This is a common thought that many homebuyers ponder. The truth is, you should identify a budget and stick to it. Leave yourself enough cash flow for savings and emergency events that may pop up unexpectedly.
4. Get Pre-Approved Early On.
On the same lines as point #3, getting approved early will prohibit you from selecting homes that are out of your price range. The Pre-approval process is also completely different from pre-qualification, as it holds more merit after analyzing your credit history, income and debt. Make sure you understand how these two differ.
5. Have a Capable Inspector.
Most likely your Realtor will have an excellent home inspector that he or she can refer you to. This individual will play a pivotal role in ensuring the structural condition of the home is in good shape. Not working with an experienced home inspector can equate to spending money down the road, so make sure you are working with a professional.
We hope these tips provide you with some initial things to start thinking about. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to help!