Advice for Buying Your First Home
Buying your first home is one of the biggest financial purchases you will ever make. Obviously, it’s a decision to not take lightly. Take all the time you need to prepare yourself for this important milestone. Read below for important steps to buy a house.
Pre-approval describes the initial process of qualifying for a mortgage. When you (the buyer) are pre-approved, it means a lender has agreed to let you borrow up to a certain amount for a home. To get pre-approved, you need to submit basic financial information and provide access to their credit report. If you start home shopping before you finish the pre-approval process, you could be surprised when you apply for a mortgage and discover you qualify for much less. Some realtors won’t even work with a borrower until they’ve been pre-approved, because they don’t want to waste their time with a casual shopper.
Buy Less Than You Can Afford
When you spend too much on your mortgage you may not be able to meet your daily obligations let alone save for retirement. A smaller house is worth the peace of mind. If you are carrying debt (credit card or student loan debt), you should keep your house payments on the lower end of that amount.
Find a Good Realtor
The real estate market is time-sensitive, so you need an agent who constantly keeps you in the loop about your current buying or selling situation. Another extremely important part of professionalism for a real estate agent to possess is their respect for other’s time. The most successful real estate agents will get a large percentage of repeat and referral business.
A home inspection is where professionals make sure everything in the house is functioning properly and identifies needed repairs. You need an inspector to climb into the attic and inch around in the crawl space. The inspector can discover real and expensive problems that are not always apparent when you view the home with a real estate agent. The home inspector will look at the foundation and other structural elements of the house. If the house is not structurally sound, the inspection report will identify the problems. Structural problems are major red flags when buying a house. You don’t want to get stuck with a home that is not well built.
Once you have closed on your home, it is time to move in. It’s time to paint, unpack and enjoy your new home. Be sure that you change your address with your bank, and other accounts. You can set up your utilities and cancel your old ones as well. This will save you time and money because you will avoid late fees. Some companies will waive installation fees if you transfer your old account to your new address. Now sit back, relax and enjoy your new home!