Purchasing a home is a huge commitment, whether it’s your first home or your fifth. The process can be daunting, but with the right tools, you can find something that has all your wants and needs within your budget. Ready to buy now? There are a few things you might want to think about before taking the plunge.
Get a good realtor
Some buyers might feel using a realtor hikes up the cost of the home overall. When you buy without a realtor, the listing agent may end up taking advantage of you and it may cost you more in the long run. Getting a trusted realtor to represent you in the process can help when negotiating costs, organizing inspections, and working to find homes within your budget.
Think about tomorrow
Buying a home is a long-term investment, so making sure your home will suit you in any future life changes is vital. Consider things like whether you might need to move for you career or if you plan on starting a family in the near (or far) future. If you’re buying with a partner, plan for what happens if you separate or part ways. While this may not be fun, you need to be realistic and consider all options before making a plunge this big. Most experts say it’s safe to buy if you can foresee yourself living in the home for at least five years.
Look at your credit
Even if you have saved a large amount for a down payment, your credit score will majorly affect the interest rate on your mortgage. This can add up over time, making your home an expensive income drain. If you can afford to take your time on the purchase, take extra strides to increase your credit score. Buyers with a credit score of over 700 typically receive the best rates. This may also mean excluding or including your partner from the mortgage, if it makes sense financially. Look at your options, check your credit score regularly, and take your time to make sure you get the best rates possible.
Think about resale
If you do end up leaving your home in the future, you want to make sure you’re able to sell it at a good price. Making aesthetic and structural improvements to the home over time will keep it in good condition, but think about the market where you’re buying as well. If the area has a variety of growing industries, you can be sure homes will sell quickly there in the future. Look at property trends from the last decade and do your research to predict how the market in that area will be affected with time. Homes in Houston, TX, for example, may sell completely differently than homes in New England. Make sure the property you purchase is a good investment for the future.
Know you’re ready
Especially if this is your first home, know that this is a long process that you don’t have to jump into head-first. If you’re moving for a job, consider renting an apartment until you find the right home and you’re sure you’ll be with the company for a long time. If you’re looking for a home that suits your growing family, make sure you don’t settle for something too small that you may end up growing out of quickly. Understand that this is a big commitment and there is no reason to jump into a contract if you’re not 100% ready. The right home will be available to you, but it may be available sooner or further away than expected. Go slow and go with your instincts when buying a home.