Buying your first home feels exciting and a little bit scary at the same time. Welcome to the world of adulting! Moving to the world of home ownership is a huge step, but it also feels like a very big responsibility. This huge decision comes with plenty of stressful details that you have to keep tabs on at all times. If you are feeling a little bit overwhelmed at the prospect of the entire process, take a look at our useful tips that will help you navigate some of the trickier aspects.
Work out your budget
Too often people waste time on homes that they can’t realistically afford. Not only is that counterproductive, it can also be a little bit heartbreaking. You don’t want your final choice to feel like settling just because you’ve been looking at homes that are way out of your league. If you know that buying a home is in the cards for you, try to improve your credit score. Be aware that this is a process that takes time, not something to scramble for a month before the purchase. Getting a loan pre-approved is another step that can make the whole thing smoother, faster and easier. That means that your lender will be able to tell you exactly how much money they can give you. This way you will have a very specific financial bracket, and you won’t be spending time looking at homes that are over your budget.
Don’t forget about the hidden fees
Always keep in mind that the price of the house is not the final amount of money you need. There are hidden fees, like the real estate agent, the loan processing and junk fees, and taxes. Take all of these into account too before you settle on your budget for the house itself. Once you buy, you might need to spend a certain amount on repairs, furniture and maintenance so leave some money aside for that.
Work with local agents
Whether it’s due to the power of marketing, or a sense of security, a lot of people tend to opt for big franchise agencies. But the truth is, no one knows the real estate market like the locals. For instance, if you’re looking to buy real estate in Northern Beaches, finding a smaller local agent who knows the ins and outs of the area would be a much smarter move than going with a big impersonal company that has no local ties. A local agent will probably be able to give you much more realistic information about the neighbourhood.
Don’t wait around for a drop in prices
If you intend to wait around for a huge change in the housing market, who knows how long that might take. And remember, while you’re waiting, you’re just spending money on renting, instead of using it to pay off the loan on your own home. Predicting the market is a shaky and unreliable business. For instance, right now the property market in Australia seems to be slowing down, which is evident in the declining prices of homes in Melbourne and Sydney. But who knows how long this might last, and whether the next change will be a further drop or a rise. If you find the perfect home, and you can afford it, just go for it before someone else snatches it.
For most people, home ownership also means getting into debt. That is why it’s crucial to be careful and not rush into decisions without thinking them through. Making informed choices will ensure that you enjoy your new home for years to come.