For most people, owning a home is part of living the American dream. A home is seen as a safe environment to grow as a family and a place where you and your children can thrive.
Remember, owning a home is a big commitment! Make sure that the reason(s) you and your significant other are buying a home makes sense. While many of your friends and family are current homeowners, it’s important to reflect on your own reasons for wanting to purchase a home and truly see if it’s the right fit for you.
Here are some tips for first time homebuyers:
- Make sure your finances are in order. Start looking at your credit score and how much debt, if any, you currently have. The banks will look at your credit score to see whether you would be able to handle mortgage payments. This is also a great opportunity to look at your monthly expenses and working towards saving more. Most financial institutions require 20% of the price of the house as a down payment…start saving early! And remember not to buy “too much house” – you do not want to be house poor.
- Get educated. If you’re not sure where to start or are feeling unprepared, there are plenty of educational courses for first-time homebuyers. Check online or in your local community for courses that can help you become familiarized with homeownership. The more you educate yourself on this process, the more confident you’ll feel about the journey!
- Do your research. This is a life-changing decision. Be sure to carefully plan and consider all potential outcomes before starting to pick out paint colors. Look at what realtor you want to use (someone you are comfortable with and not pushy), the community, the school district, the costs, etc. Before you start house hunting, sit down and write out a list of things you need to review and list of “must-haves” for your new home.
- Make the most of open houses. When touring houses, ask a lot of questions and pay close attention to details such as: the appliances, any odd smells, any repairs, the air conditioning/heating systems, etc. If a few houses stand out more than others, don’t hesitate to schedule a second or third visit to look around and ask questions privately.
- Be excited! This is a new adventure and chapter in your life that will prove to be beyond rewarding in the end. There may be difficult times throughout this process, but just remember these are small bumps on the road to an amazing future.
There are a lot of emotional ups and downs when being a first-time homeowner, but there is also a great sense of pride you walk through the door of YOUR new home. Make sure you get the best advice from your team of professionals. The dream of finding the perfect home can quickly become a reality. This month I encourage you to consider the benefits of being a homeowner and see if you are in a position to take this big leap!