Buying Your First Home
Buying Your First Home
So, you've made the decision to become a home owner.....Congratulations! It is after all the American Dream, and a very exciting time in your life. Don't let it turn into a nightmare......here are a few words of wisdom to hopefully remove some of the issues that can turn that fun exciting adventure into a stressful event.
Must Do # 1
You would not go shopping for a car, or a dress for that matter without knowing what your purchase power is. Buying a home, which is most likely one of the largest purchases you will make, should not be any different. In fact, long before you even start your search the wisest thing to do is get a handle on your finances. Your good credit is imperative to open the door to home ownership. Talk to a mortgage person for advice on how to maximize your credit score and buying power. He or she will be able to put you on the road to getting a pre-approval, which tells the sellers that you're a serious and prime buyer and will help with the negotiations on your new home.
It's All In the Planning #2
Build the right team....Hopefully at this point; you've aligned with a mortgage professional you're comfortable with. Now, it's time to get the rest of the team together. The difference between transactions that make it to the closing table and those that don't are the professionals involved. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to closing and closing on time to assemble a good team that will work together to overcome any and all obstacles that sometimes come up in a real estate transaction. You need a realtor that is full time, experienced and committed to the best possible outcome for you and your family. With that done your team is on its way to making it to home plate. You will eventually need a good real estate attorney, (with a good support staff in their office) as well as an experienced home inspector....more on that after you find the perfect home!
Latte Anyone? #3
So, you've got this great realtor and this wonderful mortgage person, let's go find a house! But wait....do not forget to prioritize. You will not only have mortgage payments, but you will need to budget for property taxes, utility bills, insurance, repairs and other maintenance items. Then there's the latte factor. Do you love to stop at Starbucks or DD on a regular basis? Do you love a few vacations a year or dinner out a few times a month? Make sure you consider your life style when figuring out your home buying budget. As wonderful as homeownership is, you have a life to live, so make sure you factor that into your price point.
Ready Set Go #4
Now we really are ready! I know you've been watching HGTV and possibly Googling neighborhoods, you may even have started to think of paint colors! Stop right there....you need to make a list. Your dream list and then the list of things that are essential, things you must have. You may have to trade a dream item for two things on your essential list. Example: you would love a brand new kitchen, but it's more practical to have 2 full bathrooms. We all have a budget and no one really ever finds everything they're looking for, not even in the highest of price points. You need to set realistic expectations and know that if you find 80% of what your looking for, that is a home run And remember, location cannot be changed but you can always add that new kitchen. They say sometimes it is best to buy the smallest house in a good location, rather than the biggest house in an inferior location.
Keep the Faith and Have Fun #5
Try to have a little faith in the old adage that everything happens for the best. Don't try to time the market or the mortgage rates. The best time to buy a home is when you find your perfect place and it's within the price point that you chose. Try not to get caught up in the emotions as it can only lead to bad decision making. Your emotions get attached to that new kitchen that's got the great back splash, your better judgment will recognize that the little house with the dirty carpeting may after all be the better choice. Try to have a little fun with it, your creating memories and stories that you will look back on one day. Buying your first home or any home thereafter is not only where your heart will be, it's an investment. So stay calm and choose wisely!