Pro Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
Nothing is more exciting than the thought of finally moving from a rented apartment to a house you can call your own. You won’t have much to worry about noisy neighbors, the landlord knocking on your door when your rent is late, etcetera, etcetera.
However, a lot goes into owning a home than most people care to imagine – and it all starts from the point of purchasing one. Especially if it’s the first home you’re being, not being careful at this point could easily cause regrets in the near or far future.
To avoid mistakes and prevent regrets we recommend getting in touch with Wandsworth estate agents, and here are some pro tips you can use as a first-time home buyer.
Know the Kind of Home You Need
Of course, we all have different definitions and imaginations of a dream home. While tiny homes can work well for those considering downsizing, others will feel more comfortable in a single-family or multi-family home.
Still, others prefer dwelling in some kind of social community, so they go for a condo instead – which offers a hybrid between a house and an apartment. Basically, deciding on the kind of home you need may revolve around the following aspects.
- Home type
- Your budget
Know Your Credit Score and Mortgage Options
Homes don’t come cheap, and before you’re finally able to buy that home you’ve always dreamt of, it might take some time, perhaps several years of getting organized financially. It often involves saving for your down payment, building credit, and, of course, maintaining a good if not stellar credit score.
This makes it easier for you to get approved for a home loan by lenders when the time to get a mortgage finally comes. Also, your credit score can have an impact on your mortgage interest rates, your loan term, and the available home loan options.
This makes it important to know where you stand beforehand, and perhaps figure out what you can do to improve your credit score before approaching mortgage lenders.
Shop Around In the Real Estate Market
This is another utterly crucial aspect of the home buying process… one that can sometimes be downright overwhelming. Now that you know your ideal home, have a budget estimate in mind, and your credit score is in good order, it’s time to start hunting for your dream house.
You can start by determining a city, town, or area that most interests you, narrowing it down to the various neighborhoods, maybe you’re looking for apartments for rent in Raleigh. While choosing a neighborhood, be sure to ask yourself questions like the following:
- What’s the average price of homes here?
- Is the neighborhood generally safe, with low crime rates?
- How’s the infrastructure?
- Is it a clean and quiet neighborhood?
- Does it have easily accessible public amenities, schools, healthcare facilities, gyms, and recreational facilities?
- How about water supply?
Work With a Respected Realtor
Especially when it’s your first time buying a home, you can’t afford to underestimate the input of a real estate agent, especially one that is experienced in your location of interest. Among other things, a realtor can help you in the home-hunting process, scouting neighborhoods, finding the home of your needs, and comparing prices.
They can even help you in the negotiation process so you can secure the best deal and probably spare some change from your purchase. While at it, you might also want to do some research about the prices of some of the recently sold houses in your neighborhood of interest!
Visit the Home in Person
As much as online listings are incredible at helping you find a home, they should never be enough to convince you into sealing the deal. Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s advisable to make an in-person visit to the home you’re about to buy.
Some listings could be misrepresented if not deceiving, so this gives you a chance to tell for sure that you’re actually getting what you’re about to pay for. It’s also an opportunity to discover any repairs or undisclosed problems that might come to bite you hard some months or years down the line.
Finally, you might also want to consider the costs of home searching (inspection, mortgage brokerage fees, realtor fees, etc. Other fees like homeowner’s association (HOA) fees and land rates associated with your neighborhood of interest are also worth budgeting for.