By Kara Masterson
It's always an adventure when you're ready to go house hunting. It’s even more exciting when you are ready to venture out in search of your first home. Whether you're moving out of your parent's house or you have been renting a place and are ready to finally own your own place, you're taking a big step in life. Take some helpful tips about buying your first home to have a positive experience:
Know Your Budget
Far too many people make the mistake of buying a home that is beyond their means. This only adds stress to their lives and can even lead to moving out if the mortgage is too much to handle. Sit down and work out your budget. Look at all of your monthly expenses and remember that you'll want to continue to set aside savings for a rainy day. Once you see how much is left for a mortgage payment, give yourself some wiggle room.
Choose Where You Want to Live
If you're going to take the plunge as a first-time homebuyer, be strategic about your search. What area calls to you? A great price or a beautiful home will not be enough if you're unhappy with the location. Consider the school district if you have children and think about access to your favorite stores. Figure out if you want neighbors nearby or if you would prefer your own space. Perhaps most importantly, decide if you’re comfortable with the quality of the surrounding area you’re moving to. This will help you to trim down your list of potential homes.
Make a List of Essentials
No two homebuyers are alike. You should pick a home that fits your needs. Take into consideration how many bedrooms you need, the number of bathrooms and if the home has a garage or parking structure. You may prefer a spacious backyard or not care about that at all. If you are going to have children, you'll need a house with enough room to accommodate an expanding family. Bring your checklist with you when you go to an open house or speak with a REALTOR®. If you don't find what you want, keep looking.
Learn About Your Financing Options
Don't jump at the first mortgage you see...do your homework. Your credit union may have an irresistible promotion. You could go the traditional route with a mortgage through your local bank or other mortgage brokers. You may also qualify for a variety of loan programs, including loans from the Department of Veterans Affairs, USDA loans for homes in rural settings or FHA loans. Look at the interest rate and whether or not the rate will be fixed. Don't sign on the dotted line until you are completely satisfied.
Being prepared will help you to make the most of being a first-time homebuyer. Team up with a real estate agent you can trust and lay it all out on the line before you begin your quest. Being selective will help you to find the right home sooner.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her family. If you are looking to become a first-time homebuyer, Masterson recommends contacting Cambria Mortgage.