Purchasing your first home is an incredible feeling, as years of hard work and planning finally come to fruition. However, if you are not entirely financially prepared for this purchase you could find yourself in over your head quite quickly. A home is by far one of the most important purchases, and the most expensive, you may ever make. This means you should make every effort to ensure you are ready for this step; a bit of extra preparation before purchasing allows you the confidence to enjoy your new purchase for years to come.
What Can You Afford?
You may have mastered the world of renting, but homeownership is a whole different ball game. It’s important to take the proper time to make sure what you are buying is affordable given your current financial position.
Take the time to pay off as much debt as you can. This step not only improves your savings but also increases your credit score to help get a better interest rate on your mortgage. Remember, being a homeowner isn’t just about paying a mortgage. There are other additional costs associated with homeownership to consider. Take the time to calculate real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, HOA dues, and any home improvements that may pop up unexpectedly. Once you’ve mulled over these factors, you can honestly evaluate your bank accounts to see if you have the funds to pay for your home, extra costs, and still have enough to feel comfortable.
Do Your Research
You may have found the perfect home at the perfect price but is it a perfect location? There are plenty of considerations to make before rushing into any home purchase. You can make a more confident decision if you do your research before and during the purchasing process.
Drive around the neighborhood and the others close by. Make sure you are comfortable with the location, would you feel safe out for a walk or playing in the yard? Are there parks nearby or park district facilities? How are the school districts, do they have good reviews, are they close to the home? What about shopping, can you walk to the shops or will it be a long drive? Make sure you are purchasing a home that has the amenities and neighborhood that best suits your current and future needs.
Get a Good Team Together
Since this is by far the most important (and expensive) purchase you may have made to date, it is important to have professionals at your side to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Finding a seasoned realtor can help ensure that you are getting the best deal you can find. A realtor can find you exactly what you want, taking into consideration your expectations and what you can afford. A good realtor also helps with mortgage questions, interest rates, and loan types.
Having an experienced real estate attorney at your closing can give you the peace of mind that all documents will be ready and that each step will run smoothly and efficiently.
If you find you are ready to purchase your first home give the professionals at Bell Law a call. There is always someone available to answer any questions you may have about the buying process and can help make this life-changing step as easy as possible.