Tired of hearing noisy sound upstairs? Tired of living in the basement of your mom and dad? Or do you just want to live the American dream? Whatever reason you have that makes you want to buy your own home, the home buying process can be very exciting and frightening. However, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, you are not alone. The number of first-time homebuyers was about 47 percent of all home sales in 2009.
While the thoughts of granite countertops and white picket fences might be dancing in the head, you do not want to be carried off by a dream and be left with a huge bill. This is probably one of the biggest purchases you’ve ever made, so instead of looking for an impulse purchase (like that designer jeans you just bought), arm yourself with lots of research and some quality consultants. It may be the difference between the years of loving the house you are in and asking how long until you can look for the next one.
Take a look at these 5 tips to help you start your own real estate happiness.
- Attend seminars about first-time homebuyers
You had to study hard to learn on driving before putting yourself behind the wheel. It’s the same with buying a home. Making the wrong decision on your first home can go back haunting you, so why not take some time to learn from the professionals and go straight to the head of the class with your own investment knowledge?
Seminars for first-time homebuyers are offered by urban housing departments and nonprofit organizations. You will find tips on buying a home, financing a purchase, and even keeping your home once purchased. In addition, many of the seminars are free.
- Find out how much you can afford
Setting your heart on the beautiful five-bedroom property, three and a half feet above the hill, can make you left disappointed if you do not know how much you can afford.
Instead of leaving a cushion on your bank account so your next check would not bounce, you might want to sit down and look seriously at your average monthly budget. Take a hard look at what you’re spending your money – all from your restaurant bill to your dry cleaning account (but not your rent). So, you know what you left after paying all those bills. This is what you will have left on monthly mortgage and home expenses. Do not forget to calculate all of your home-related expenses, plumber visits, etc.
If those numbers do not add to what you want, take this as a starting point to lower and modify your spending patterns. Skip daily milk or put your lunch for a couple of months and see if your budget numbers change for the better.
- Prioritize your wants and needs
Face it – when you work on a budget, sometimes you have to compromise. Knowing what you really need can help you reduce home choices and even make decisions more easily when having to bid.
List your needs and wants. Do not forget to include things that are not really part of the house, but important, such as the environment, travel, school systems, and even proximity to entertainment places.
Once you have your priority list, consider bringing it with you as you go looking for a house and write notes in every home. After seeing four different homes on Sunday, this list can help remind you of what you’ve seen and liked or disliked.
- Explore many mortgage options
Since most people will not pay for their home with cash at the closing table, you may have to take some sort of loan or mortgage. A mortgage is a loan that only uses some property, such as your new home, as collateral, gives the bank the right to take home if the mortgagee does not survive the bargaining period.
Think of your plan on the long run as you explore your mortgage options. You could be one of those people who would never buy another house, so maybe you’re more interested in a 30-year mortgage at a flat rate. However, other couples may see this house as a beginner property they only want to have until their second child is born. They may want a floating rate mortgage.
Shopping around for a mortgage is also a great idea. Some banks may be able to provide different interest rates. When you make your purchase, be sure to compare one apple with another apple, so ask for the same type of loan, terms and amount to get a better understanding of the best deal for you.
- Make sure that the house is free from dangerous materials
Before finalizing your purchase, make sure that the house you intend to buy is free from asbestos, dangerous leads and mold. If you happen to live in Melbourne, the chance of an old house to contain asbestos is very high. You should contact a professional asbestos removal company in Melbourne or asbestos removal endorsement company in Melbourne to help you with this matter.