So, you’ve recently decided to become a homeowner. Congratulations! Buying a house or condo will improve your financial stability, help build equity, and allow you to create your own custom space. But what comes with a multitude of benefits has its fair share of pitfalls as well—follow these tips to ensure your buying experience is a success.
Pick the Right Type of Home
Is having a big yard important to you, or are you willing to sacrifice green space to be closer to amenities or in an urban area? How many bedrooms do you need, and are you prepared to pay additional maintenance costs for additional space? It’s important to nail down your priorities and separate your needs from your wants to properly narrow your search.
Get Your Finances In Order
Make sure you have enough saved for a down payment to comfortably afford your mortgage; this online calculator is a great tool to determine how much you can afford to spend. If you’re buying a condo or townhome, be sure to take HOA fees into consideration as you contemplate costs. Look into state and local programs that might ease the financial burden of homeownership, such as tax credits or interest-free loans.
Inspect Your Potential Home
The last thing you want, after closing on your dream home, is to find a mold problem the former owners “forgot” to tell you about. Be sure to hire your own inspector to confirm the absence of roof leaks, high radon levels, property disputes with neighbors, or liens against the home. This will help spare legal battles and headaches down the line!
Find the Right Realtor®
You’ll be working closely with whomever you pick as your real estate agent, so make sure you pick someone you’ll get along well with. The ideal Realtor® knows the right questions to ask about what you’re looking for in a home, is intimately familiar with the area, and is social media savvy.
Consider Hiring an Attorney
Hiring a lawyer upfront can help both parties smoothly navigate the home buying process as well. The brokerage agreements that sellers typically sign do not usually include a number of legal issues; a lawyer’s involvement will ensure that all terms are clear and that the agreement was properly signed. An attorney can also inform sellers of the tax consequences of the transaction.
To learn even more tips on buying your first home, make sure to stop by our Home Buyer Educational Fair on September 19 at Antioch. We’ll have professionals from Compass RE, CMG Financial, and Foundation Title present to answer any questions you have about the home buying process.