Things to consider when buying a house

Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions in our lifetime. Even if you feel you are ready to take the leap and buy your first home, there are still things to consider to have a smooth home buying experience. Searching for your dream house can be a bit daunting so here are a few suggestions to make house hunting easier and exciting.

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Everything should start with a plan. Careful planning helps uncover the problems. Whether house hunting or buying a house, you create your goals and identify your direction so you become prepared for what is coming next.

Write down what you want and need from your first home. What about the location, the type of house you want? You should be able to identify more factors early on to be able to hone in on properties that meet your needs.

Set a budget.

This goes hand in hand with careful planning. You should know how much house you afford and what percentage of your income can you afford on mortgage payments. If you want to stretch and buy more home than you need so you can grow into it, make sure to pay off your mortgage quickly by buying a home you can afford with a 15-year fixed mortgage. Once you set it, commit to it and prepare to be firm and stick with a house you can afford.

Consider the location.

The location of your first home will not only determine the mortgage and interest rates, but it will also shape your life for as long as you live in the home. If you will be having kids in this home, the location should be nearby the schools. If you will have elderlies to live with you, there should be a hospital that is just a few blocks away for emergencies. What about the traffic and commuting situation in the area, job opportunities and the employment market within? Focus only on areas where you could see yourself living for years to come so you maximize its benefits.

Find a buyer’s real estate agent you trust.

As a first time buyer, you have a lot of questions running and popping every now and then. A real estate agent can help you explain a lot about real estate investment, but make sure he/she is someone you can trust. There are a lot of agents who are just after the commission they can get from you and not really serious about helping you find a house that fits you and your budget.

You may ask friends and family for recommendations for real estate agents they’ve worked with. Choose an agent you’re comfortable with and that seems to be knowledgeable about the market and price-level in which you’re shopping. If your agent sounds too good to be true, beware because buying a house always has its pros and cons.

Be prepared make an offer.

It’s ok to shop for houses even if you are not yet ready to buy one. It’s like looking for more affordable choices and better options or deals while you are still saving for a down payment. Use your gut-check to help you save a lot of agony and possibly money, if you make an offer but don’t close because, for one reason or another, you weren’t ready.

Home buying for the first time needs not be a burden. Just have fun, remember to relax and take things one step at a time. Everything may not go perfectly smoothly, but if you’re committed to buying a home, you’ll eventually find yourself in an awesome new pad.


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