Is there any time in a person’s life as exciting as buying a first home? Taking on this big responsibility is a sure sign you’ve made it as an adult and a rite of passage that most look forward to.
Buying a house can be stressful if you go into the process blind, though. If you’re considering making this your first big investment, you need to learn what to expect. Keep reading to find our tips on buying your first home.
1. Choose the Right Location
It’s not enough to find the perfect home complete with all the bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need. But you also need to find this dream home in an ideal location. This consideration is often overlooking when folks are buying a starter home.
You can change aspects of the interior of the home, but you can’t as easily change its location. Before putting in an offer on a house, be sure to scope out the neighborhood.
You’ll want to look at several key areas before settling down. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What amenities are nearby?
- What’s the cost of living in this neighborhood?
- Is there a lot of crime there?
- Are there good schools in the area?
- What would the commute to work be like?
Websites like Area Vibes make this easy by finding neighborhoods in your city with high livability scores.
2. Get Your Finances in Check
Getting your first home mortgage doesn’t have to be a huge shock to your budget. Before you even think about looking at housing, you need to speak with a professional to see what you can afford. The goal here is to avoid buying a house that you’ll be scrambling to make your mortgage payments on.
A general rule of thumb is that your mortgage shouldn’t exceed 30% of your monthly gross income. If you’re pulling in $2,000 per month, your mortgage shouldn’t be over $600.
You may need to look into a first time home buyers program to help you with loans and down payment assistance.
3. Consider Your Future Needs
You might be a party animal right now with your heart set on buying a home near your favorite bar for convenience’s sake. But will the 30-something career-oriented you with a family want to live above the local watering hole?
Maybe you’re single and not looking to date anyone seriously for a while. The trendy downtown loft might sound appealing, but when you do start dating, you might want something bigger.
You don’t need to be a psychic to have an idea of where you see yourself in the next 10 years. Have an honest conversation with yourself about what your future needs for a home might be.
4. Condition of the Home
Many people buy starter homes as their first homes because they’re affordable. This leads buyers into looking at the home with rose-colored glasses on, conveniently ignoring glaring issues like mold or essential repairs.
Before you put in an offer on a starter home, get it professionally inspected to see what condition it’s in. If it requires thousands of dollars of repairs before it’s even livable, you may want to reconsider. Rooves, heating systems, or mold are very expensive to fix and can make your new home a danger to live in.
Buy Your First Home With Ease
Buying your first home doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating. Go into the process with our helpful first-time home buyers guide at the back of your mind. Take your time and wait until you find a home that feels right!
Keep reading our blogs for DIY project ideas for your new place.