The Seven Best Home-Buying Tips for First-Timers
It seems like owning property nowadays is a pipe dream for many (or even most) of us. And for those lucky enough to have the opportunity to purchase their own homes, the process seems daunting, to say the least! But here are a few home-buying tips that will help you save as much money as possible!
Hire Someone to Inspect Your Home
Always pay for someone to inspect a property before you buy. They’ll look for things like structural and mechanical integrity, mold, pests, and radon. Make sure that the potential inspector can access every part of the property, including crawl spaces and the attic. And lastly, normally you (the potential buyer) should attend the inspection so that you have the opportunity to ask questions on the spot as you think of them.
Start a Savings Account
This one should really come as no surprise, but if you’re anything like the rest of us, then you probably don’t have $500,000 just sitting around to buy off a house up front. Accordingly, you should start a savings account where you allocate 20% of the total cost of the property you intend to buy to save up for the down payment. And remember: always have some money stashed away for any emergencies that may come up!
Find a Good Real Estate Agent
Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of having a real estate agent in the family, so you’ll have to do a bit of digging to find someone who will give you the best experience. One option is to call up several major mortgage brokers and ask for their recommendations for agents. Once you have a solid list, call each one up and interview them. You can also ask the mortgage brokers for their recommendations for lenders. You should be able to get an idea of the kinds of rates you can expect, and work your way from there.
Compare Mortgage Rates
Go with the lowest mortgage rate you can find. That may sound obvious enough right now, but it may not seem like it up front when you’re having to choose between a rate of 4% or 4.25%. Just trust us, that extra .25% REALLY adds up over time!
Consider All Costs
Everyone knows that purchasing a home is expensive, but inevitably there are going to be costs that pop up that you just didn’t consider before, so make sure you’re as prepared as possible to fork over the necessary cash. Here are some of the costs you can expect: closing, moving truck, private mortgage insurance, home inspection, homeowner’s insurance, and upkeep expenses – to name a few.
Don’t Fiddle With Your Credit
Your credit score is very important when it comes to securing a loan for your new home, but too much fiddling with your credit can raise a red flag to a lot of lenders. Accordingly, don’t open new lines of credit or close existing cards – according to NerdWallet, doing so will increase the portion of available credit you use, thus lowering your credit score.
Know When to Negotiate
When buying a home, you really can negotiate more than you realize: for instance, if a home has been on the market for a while now, offer the seller a bit less than what you’re actually willing to pay. You can also make clear what sorts of repairs you would like to be included in the purchase, and see if the seller seems amicable to that idea. Just remember that everything is negotiable…all you have to do is ask! (Nicely, of course.)
This whole process may seem scary, but just remember that at the end of it all, you’ll have a place to call your own!