Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make in life. It is, therefore, a decision that you should think through carefully before taking the plunge. But what exactly should you consider before buying your home? Below are the six most important things you need to prioritize before making an offer to buy a home.
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Have a Budget and Stick to it
Before you even start looking at properties, you should have a realistic budget to guide you in your search. When creating your budget, be as realistic as possible about how much house you can afford. Don’t underestimate the expenses that come with buying a home, and don’t overestimate your financial capabilities. Failure to create a realistic home budget is easily one of the quickest ways to get stuck in debt.
Once you have determined how much you can afford, make a conscious effort to only look at houses within that price range. This will help protect your peace of mind and prevent you from making a rash and emotional decision when buying your home.
If you view properties above your price range, you may fall in love with an expensive home, and not buying it might crush you. Alternatively, you may love it so much that you convince yourself that you could afford it if only you squeeze yourself a little. Ultimately, you will end up overspending on a home.
Get Mortgage Pre-Approval
Once you set your mind to buying a property, you should then think about getting your mortgage preapproved. You must do this even before you get a real estate agent or engage a seller about buying their property.
Why is this vital, you ask? Because getting a mortgage pre-approval enables you to ascertain just how much you can rely on banks to finance your home purchase. If you don’t get pre approved, you may waste a lot of time looking for a house and negotiating a purchase price, only for the bank to deny you the money you need to purchase the home.
Set Your Irreducible Minimums
When you start looking at homes within your price range, you should do so with an open mind. One cannot emphasize the importance of having realistic expectations during this step in the process.
However, this is not to say that you should accept whichever home you find first. It helps to have some irreducible minimums when you look at homes. After all, you will be spending a lot of time in your home, so make sure you like it before putting in the money to buy it.
For instance, maybe you are looking to start a family, which means you need a home with two or more bedrooms. Don’t settle for a cheap one-bedroom house, then have to start looking for a home after a year or two. On the other hand, if privacy is a top priority for you, don’t settle for a three-bedroom apartment just because it is cheaper.
The only way you will find a home with the features that matter the most to you and yet falls within your price range is if you shop around a lot. Looking at multiple properties will give you insight into the market and enable you to find a home you love and can afford.
Hire a Savvy Real Estate Agent
One of the smartest things you can do when shopping for a home is to hire an experienced and professional real estate agent. They can play an invaluable role in helping you find the right property.
Not only that, but a savvy agent can prove invaluable when negotiating the purchase price of the home. They can often point out some downsides of a home that you probably missed, which could lead to a reduction in the price of the property.
Getting a real estate agent might cost you some money, but you may end up saving a lot more by relying on their insight and guidance.
Inspect the Home Thoroughly
After you settle on a specific home, the next step should be inspecting it thoroughly. You should strongly consider getting a professional building inspector to examine the property for you.
Classify the flaws you notice in a home into two; minor ones and fundamental ones. Minor flaws are the ones that you can fix easily without spending a fortune or taking up a lot of your time. For instance, if one of the bedrooms is painted a violent shade of purple, that is a small problem that you can take care of quickly.
If you notice a little water damage or leaky pipes, you can fix that by calling an emergency water damage response team. If there is hideous wallpaper all around the house, you can probably spend an afternoon ripping it off the walls. Small problems need not be a deal-breaker for an otherwise great home.
However, there are fundamental flaws that you really shouldn’t ignore. The criterion for identifying a fundamental flaw is one that is costly or time-consuming to repair. For instance, re-flooring the entire home or carrying out extensive kitchen renovations can be expensive, so you might want to pass on the property that needs such repairs.
Consider the Location of Your Home
One of the things you must not ignore about a home is its location. Before you decide to purchase a property, ensure that you like the neighborhood where it is situated. Visit it at different times of the day so you can get a more accurate picture of what living there would be like.
If you are a first time home buyer, choosing and purchasing a property can feel a bit overwhelming and confusing. However, following the steps in this blog can make the task a bit easier for you. Start by creating a budget and sticking to it. Then get preapproved for a mortgage. After that, create a list of deal-breakers in a home.
By the time you get to this stage, you already have an accurate idea of what you are looking for. The next step should be hiring a real estate agent, inspecting the home, and touring the neighborhood. If you follow this six-step plan, you most definitely will find a home that is right for you.
This is a contributed post.
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6 Things You Must Consider Before Buying a Home
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