Look at you all grown up. You have a good job, maybe you’re getting married and you’re starting to think it might be time to buy a house. Good for you! And yet it’s still new and uncharted territory for you. It can be scary and definitely daunting. But fortunately this is your map to help you get there and figure out what you need before you buy.
Knowing when you will buy your first house is a very intuitive process. Don’t feel pressured to do it just because some of your old college friends are doing it. You don’t have to buy your first house as soon as you turn 30 or when you get married. Just as you know when you are ready to get married or have children, you will know when you’re ready to buy a house.
This goes hand in hand with your timing, since you will know when you are financially able to buy a house. You need to know that the job you are currently in will be able to support you living in this house for at least the next five years. Perhaps you’re buying with your spouse and your combined income can support the overall costs of the house. Be aware of the housing market in your desired area and all the upfront expenses, such as closing costs and the down payment. You also need to know what kind of mortgage you can afford, so make sure you talk to someone at your bank.
Get a Real Estate Agent
Buying a house is a big deal and it’s best not to go into it on your own. You might think you know what you’re doing but a real estate agent can either back you up or set you straight on what you can actually get on your budget. It’s their job to help you find a home and when you’re doing this for the first time their expertise is incredibly valuable.
Figure Out What You Want
Odds are you’ve had an idea of what you wanted your dream house to be when you were a kid playing MASH with your friends. Unfortunately we can’t all live in mansions, so you will need to make some realistic decisions on what you want your first house to be. Consider the number of rooms and bathrooms you will need, as well as the location. The time you spend on your commute can make a difference on where you buy your home and if you plan on having children, you may also want to live in a certain school district. Remember that your needs outweigh your wants when it comes to buying a home. As cool as a home theatre may be, it’s not a necessity. Know what your budget can handle. When you’re touring homes, you may come across the idea of a fixer-upper. The costs would be less than a move-in ready home, but you need to be aware of what the renovation costs could be, especially if there are hidden issues. Again, you will know if you are prepared to handle a renovation.
You also need to know that you might look at a lot of houses before you find the right one. It can be a long and stressful process. But if you’re lucky, you might find it right away and you’ll want to act fast. When you find the right house for you, do what you can to make it yours and then you’ll have your first home.