If after renting houses most of your life, your dream of owning your very own home is near fruition, it is certainly good news. And the market has some excellent houses and condominiums for sale. However, buying a home for the first time is not easy and requires a lot of preparation and patience. Things can get easy if you follow the undermentioned tips.
#1 Don’t cross your financial boundaries
There is every chance of going overboard and crossing your financial boundaries in the excitement of owning a new house. However, before you rush into any deal, ensure that your finances are in order, you have good credit, you hold enough savings to cover the down payment and, more importantly, you hold an emergency fund cushion for immediate needs. You will also need to remain updated on homebuyers’ laws, such as a break on 20 percent down payment for first-time homebuyers, and the like. Never get tempted to buy a house that is outside your budget.
#2 Maintain a good credit score
Your credit score can make a difference between owning a house or no house at all. So, check your credit score, even before you consider looking for a home. You can take the services of credit monitoring agencies, such as TransUnion, a paid service, or the free app Credit Karma to monitor and improve your credit during your home buying process.
#3 Get your debts in focus
It is certainly not advisable to apply for a mortgage, when you are under any debts, such as credit card debt, student loan debt, outstanding car payments or unpaid medical bills. This is because your debt-to-income ratio may scare away your potential lenders. Get these debts under control, if you want to be approved for a mortgage. Calculate your repayment capacity, since you will be paying both on your mortgage and loans.
#4 Make big purchases after acquiring your new home
The temptation to buy furniture and other big items always remains, even before taking the keys to your new home. It is best not to do so, simply because anything charged to the credit card raises debt-to-income ratio. This means, higher the debt, more likely you are to attract high-interest rates. Your loan application can also get rejected, due to this. So, don’t take any action that changes your credit score.
#5 Be methodical and organized
Since buying a house means a humungous amount of paperwork, you will do well to get organized to tackle it. This way you are least likely to misplace important documents or forget something crucial. Check everything twice over to rule out mistakes and save time. A case in point is a missed signature on a document that can hold up your closing date.
#6 Don’t be a stickler for perfection
Of course, you want your new house to be shipshape when you move in. However, don’t delay moving in just because little things need to be fixed. It is okay if the wall color is not as per your liking or the carpet is old fashioned. In most cases, your seller will fix these or reimburse you for changes/repairs carried out at your end. If you get too finicky about these things, your seller may simply back out and contact other potential buyers.
#7 Patience is the key in buying a house with partner
Couples buying a house together must ensure that it does not affect their relationship in any way. So, each one of you should not only be patient but remain open to compromises. In case of disagreements, which are bound to happen, the best course of action will be to sit down and thrash things out, even before you begin the home buying process. The bottom line is to be considerate to your partner’s needs and wants, without going overboard in catering to them.
#8 Neighborhood matters
Even before you survey the house you are going to buy, survey the neighborhood first. It is not only the price of the houses in the locality that you need to compare, but the amenities existing in that area, such as schools, parks, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Avoid buying a house that doesn’t have anything to offer, since the neighborhood will dictate the value of your home, as and when you decide to sell it in the future.
The above tips may make buying a house seem a daunting proposition. However, it is not as scary as it looks. You only need to educate yourself about the processes of acquiring a home and the best place to start is the resources page on the US Department of Housing and Urban Development website.