Buying your first home is truly one of the most exciting times of your life. It will happen just once so make it count. You’ve saved and managed your finances well and the rewards will be great. However, avoid becoming overwhelmed as you begin the process of looking for your own place. Ponder these points to maximize the chances you’ll make the best decision:
1. Explore different communities on your own before contacting a realtor.
Listen to what your friends have to say about where they live. If you see an interesting subdivision on your way home from work, drive through it to see what it offers.
2. Think first about your commute to work.
Would it bother you to drive an hour to and from work? If so, that will help you rule out some neighborhoods right off the bat. Maybe you’d like to limit your work travel to twenty minutes each way. Since your work is how you bring in your dollars, work is likely the first thing to consider when you’re getting ready to shop for a home.
3. Make a list of people, places, and things you wish to live close to.
Listing family, friends, activities, and businesses you’d like to be within a 15-minute drive from might help to narrow down the areas where you’d like to live.
4. Consider whether you want to live in suburbia or an urban area.
If you love walking in fields of green, planting your own garden, and being close to farms, then you want to live near wide open spaces. However, if you like walking down the street for your morning coffee or to get groceries, you’d be wise to focus on big city living.
5. Have you thought about the size of home you want?
Maybe a studio condo will serve your purposes just fine as you do most of your living away from home. But if you’re a homebody and like a place where you can entertain and do your favorite craft activities, you’ll likely need more room.
6. Compile a list of the most important things you’re looking for in a home.
Here’s an example: “Be within 30-minute drive from work, be in a quiet neighborhood, have two bedrooms, a garage or carport, and my own private outdoor space.”
7. Be cautious and realistic about what you’re willing to spend.
You’ll experience less stress if you spend less than you think you can afford. For example, if you make extra money on the side to beef up savings, avoid basing your purchase on future earnings from the side work. This way, you’ll have an extra safety net built in: if the side job ends, you’ll be able to afford your home on just your full-time work paycheck.
8. Think about how much you can afford as monthly mortgage payments.
Again, you want to target a bit lower amount to begin with. Sometimes, payments go up from year to year due to taxes or homeowners’ insurance, so if you already started out a little high, you could get your monthly finances in hot water. Avoid blowing out your budget.
9. When you’ve explored all the above information, you’re ready to call a professional.
At this point, you’re ready to start exploring your options for a real-estate professional. Finding someone to help you fulfill your house-hunting needs is important, and requires an element of trust. At OMG Brokers, we’re here to help you with all your real estate needs. Contact us with any questions you may have regarding your new home purchase. You can also take a look at our team page to discover one of the many talented real estate agents we have on our team.
Your first home can be your dream come true. Take heed of the above suggestions to cover all the bases when starting to shop for a humble abode to call your own.