Buying your first home is unbelievably exciting. While some people prefer to rent, homeownership is something that most of us strive for. We see it as our chance to set down roots. To become part of a community and to create a home for our families to grow in. It’s also a chance for future financial security.
Once you own a house, it’s easier to buy a larger one if you ever need to. And as soon as you are on your way to paying off your mortgage, you are on your way to vastly reduced outgoings and much more disposable income. Owning your own house can make life easier, it can give you options, financial freedom, and it will undoubtedly make retirement much more comfortable.
But, it’s so easy to get carried away with this excitement. People rush in and buy the first home that they look at. They take the first mortgage that they think they can get approved for just because they are so eager to become homeowners. Often they make poor long term decisions. To help you get it right the first time, here are some of the things that you should think about before buying your first home.
The location should be one of your primary concerns. Are you tied to the area that you currently live in? Do you have a family, jobs, and schools to consider? If you moved slightly further afield, to find cheaper or larger houses, would it significantly impact your lifestyle? If you are moving to a new area, think about schools, transportation services and options, career options, amenities, crime rates, and quality of services like hospitals and healthcare practices.
Buying a house isn’t like renting. You can’t just move out when you get bored, or your needs change. When you buy, you are committing to living somewhere for the foreseeable future. So, consider your future. Are you planning any big changes like having children? Or are your children getting ready to leave home? Think about where you want your life to be in five years, and the house that you will then need.
Your Finance Options
Finances and budget should play a big part when it comes to a considerable expense, like buying a house. Consider your budget carefully and take the time to look at your finance options. Read this home loan guide from MoneyTaskForce.com to get more information, but don’t panic, you’ve probably got more options than you think.
You should consider the deposit that you can save, and how much you can afford to pay off a mortgage each month, as well as any changes to your financial situation you are expecting in the near future.
Create a Realistic Wish List
You might have an idea of what you would like from your dream house. You’ve probably looked at homes that you could never afford online. Most of us are guilty of this kind of escapism, and there is nothing wrong with it.
But, when it comes to looking for a house to buy, you should also have a realistic wish list. Perhaps leave off the swimming pool and double garage (unless your budget allows for it) but add things like a small garden, off-road parking and the number of bedrooms that you need. Have those things that you don’t want to be without, at the top of your list, followed by things that you’d like but would compromise on if the price and location were right.
How to View a House
Real estate agents are smooth talkers, so don’t let them deter you from your budget or your wish list. Leave your heart at the door before you enter.
It’s all too easy to get carried away with our excitement when we view houses. We fall in love, we let them make a first impression, and we forget to check important things. Try not to do this, and view homes as though you are advising a friend, not looking for yourself. View armed with your wish list, and another list of things to check, light electrics and taps, and questions to ask.
It’s also wise to view as many houses as you can. The more you see, the better you’ll get at spotting things, and the more realistic an idea you’ll have of what you can afford.
Remember, considering these things might mean that the process is delayed. You might have to wait to find the right house that meets your needs fits your budget and is in the correct location. But, this is valuable time that you can use preparing for your move, and further improving your finances. It’ll be worth the wait if you manage to find the home of your dreams.