Homeownership has traditionally been a life goal for most, and, after a fall, it’s on the rise again in the US. If you’re looking to buy your first home, here are some tips I’d like to pass on to you from my homeownership experience:
1. Take your time
As a home buyer, you want to find a property that you really like, but at the same time, you should avoid getting carried away and not completing your research. This is especially important if you’re moving into a property that’s very different from your previous one. If you’re in the market for a home where you’ll raise your family, then consider their needs as well, so they can appreciate your decision when they grow up. Sometimes, it takes multiple visits before you can see the benefits of a property.
2. There are cheaper lenders
A small difference in interest rate will add up over the life of your property. So, don’t be afraid to provide your financial history to as money lenders as possible. Also, don’t hesitate to negotiate a better price. You’ll be surprised how many lenders will give you a better offer if you ask for it. If you’re getting pre-approval, like property browsing, don’t get carried away with the pre-approved amount. Decide the budget you’re comfortable with and stick to it regardless of how much you get approved for.
3. Estimate furnishing costs
House furnishing is one of those areas where the core costs sneak up on you. The sofa that you like cost a bit more than your budget but you go for it anyway. Here is a guide for estimating furnishing costs by Happho.
4. Negotiate repair and replacement costs with the homeowner
If the home has been used for any length of time, the inspection will likely find some issues with it, whether it’s a broken pipe or something serious like structural damage. Of course, with a serious problem like structural damage, the homeowner should fix the problem before selling. If your assessment shows that the costs are higher than what the homeowner is offering, ask them to increase the amount. One option you have for repairs is to negotiate a home warranty beforehand in case there are any repairs needed after you purchase.
5. Look beyond referrals
References are the life and blood of the real estate market. Ask the lender and realtor for references and consider their references as well, but also remember to do your own research. Taking that extra time to research may help you say some money.
6. Ask questions
Questions not only help you get a better understanding of the process, but they also show that you’re interested. From their experience working with buyers to how quickly they can arrange a tour, there are many questions you can ask your realtor. Here are 12 questions to help you get a better idea of your realtors competence and approach.
7. Prepare to be a homeowner
Responsibilities of home ownership are different from that of a rental property. This is something you don’t appreciate fully until you become a homeowner. For example, while your main costs, such as a mortgage, are predictable, you’ll have to factor in maintenance costs. Prepare for homeownership in advance so you’re ready for it when you get the privilege.
Amanda Turner is a freelance writer and recent graduate who is exploring her passions through writing.