Stepping onto the Property Ladder: Tips for Buying your First Home

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Buying your first home is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and the most significant financial decision you will make in your entire lifetime. While it may seem like an easy decision, it's a tricky decision and therefore has to proceed with utmost caution to avoid regrets later. The real estate industry is hugely dynamic attributed to changing demographic makeups, economic conditions, interest rates as well as other factors thus you should not make hurried decisions at least when wanting to buy your first property. For example, if you were buying from Sea Pines homes, you'd do extensive market research of the company and the area. Always take time and proceed with caution considering the tips below. 

1. Always Conduct Thorough Research on The Current Market 
As mentioned above, the real estate market is mostly dynamic with property values rapidly fluctuating due to local supply/demand dynamics as well as broader national economic factors such as policies. Attributed to the rapid fluctuation in property value, properties will always sell for no more or less than the prevailing market price. Therefore, when looking to buy your first home, always do your research using a variety of available resources such as the internet or local real estate agents and determine the most reasonable price you are confident with. 

2. Plan Your Financing Early 
When looking to buy your first home, you should plan your financing early. For instance, if you want to use a mortgage to buy your first home, consider weighing all your financing options carefully. Depending on the type of mortgage you can afford, you can choose between a fixed or adjustable rate or a short term or long-term mortgage. It's important to seriously weigh the cost of your financing options to choose a favourable financing option and avoid additional expenses in future. 

3. Save a Down Payment 
If you are not willing to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI), you can choose to save for a down payment of 20% or more of the total property value. PMI protects the mortgage company in case you can't make your payments and end up in foreclosure. It usually costs 1% of the total loan value, and it's added to your monthly payment. If you are unable to pay the 20% down payment, you can consider applying for home buyers' programs that offer single-digit down payments particularly the 15-year, fixed-rate conventional mortgage with a 20% down payment which is quite affordable.

4. Research Neighborhoods before Deciding to Buy a Home
Before buying a home, you should always research the neighbourhood to establish crucial information on the crime rates, quality of schools, utilities as well as future prospects. Calculate the distance to your place of work to see if you can easily manage considering traffic or any delays. Also, check on the noise levels and see whether people are usually comfortable being outdoors. It is crucial to factor neighbourhood quality and location into your decision and chooses a neighbourhood that you and your family are comfortable in. 

5. Make a Competitive Offer 
After landing a property of your choice and you have the necessary finances to make an offer, always make a competitive one but within your budget. If you are a first-time home buyer, you may not know precisely how to make a competitive offer, and therefore you may want to seek the expertise of a real estate agent. A real estate agent can make a competitive offer on your behalf and enable land the best offer. However, you should be keen not to make an impulsive offer just to purchase the property as you may end up purchasing the property far more than the market value. 

6. Do a Home Inspection 
Before closing the sale, you may want to do a home inspection to ascertain the status of the property, especially if it's an old home. In some instances, a home inspection a contract contingency and the buyer can cancel the offer if he/she detects certain faults with the house. If the faults can be repaired, you are required to issues the seller with a Request for Repair rather than blowing the deal. 

Buying your first home is always exciting but also tricky attributed to the dynamism of the real estate industry. Nonetheless, when buying your first home, conduct extensive research to determine the best market price and use the tips above. If you are unsure of yourself, you can hire a real estate agent to guide you through the entire process. 

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