It is always a big step when you decide to look for your first home. But it is also a process that comes with a lot of paperwork, financial responsibilities, and big decisions. Here are the essential things that you need to be prepared for.
You Need To Watch The Market
Research the housing market in your area before you make an offer. Look at the recent inflation trend in the US. Factor the high prices and future forecast into your decision making. Find out why certain areas you are looking at may have lower than typical prices.
You Need To Start Saving Now
Set a savings goal for your first home. Make a detailed budget plan that includes all your incomings and outgoings. Go through all your costs and be ruthless about what you can cut. Take the bus to work instead of driving. Plan your meals ahead of time, buy in bulk and use your leftovers. Compare prices for energy providers, cell phone providers and internet providers and switch where you can.
Break Down The Costs
Look at home loan and mortgage providers to find out what you can borrow to buy a home. Ask yourself if renting is really saving you money or if buying a property will be cheaper in the long run. Use a renting vs home buying calculator to help you understand the costs. Factor in how long you hope to stay in your property. Be honest about what you can afford right now.
Know What You Need
Write a list of your must-haves. Factor in a home office space if you are still working from home. Remember that back yards and parking spaces will add to the price. Tell your real estate agent what you need and do not waver.
Work On Your Credit Score
Continue making any outstanding debt and loan repayments while applying for a mortgage. Find out what debts you can pay off quicker. Stay in your current employment role during the process to avoid instability, except for accepting a promotion. Avoid taking out any additional loans during this process. Be confident on what your student loan responsibilities are in the wake of the recent pause. Check your financial activity regularly to look for irregularity and possible fraud. Remember that stability is crucial for banks and loan providers.
Double Check Everything
Go through every line of any loan agreement before signing anything. Visit any property you are considering as many times as you are comfortable with. Visit at different times of day to check noise levels and other local factors. Prepare a list of questions for the owners and the agents. Hire an independent surveyor to examine the property.