Buying your first home could be pretty exciting, yet a bit on the scary side. You see the possibilities of that dream home with the 2 car spacious garage and a backyard you could get lost in. You start mentally coloring the walls, adding accents to make it feel and look like home. But reality strikes. The house is great, but the neighborhood isn't so great. Mountains of paperwork where your signature looks like the only thing you understand. It can be a nightmare. Don't fret. You can prepare yourself with simple tips to help you along your venture.
Firstly, know what you are working with. Know your credit score and available finances before the lender gets to know you. There are many lenders just waiting to offer you the money you need to buy your home. You also may qualify for a federally-backed loan or state sponsored programs to help you into your new home. There are various interest rates being offered so give yourself some time to shop around. Once you know your spending limit, you can now develop your list of homes of interest.
"Location. Location. Location". This famous real estate saying should be etched into your temporal lobes. There are many appeasing homes out there, yet the surroundings are not so comfortable. You have places to go outside your home. Work. The grocery store. Shopping. The last thing you need is a long commute just to do everyday things. When looking at the location of your home, pay attention to what's around you. Check for nearby major roads, highways, and even attractions. Try driving around during rush hour to get a feel of the density of traffic. This may be your home location for quite some time so make sure you are comfortable.
Since we are in the realm of location, don't tune your mind into the now. Your new neighborhood has a future. If you're like the residents of Hollywood Beach, a once quite vacation spot is now turning into a conglomerate of massive buildings, eliminating the great view of the smaller structures. This could easily dissatisfy a home buyer, especially if you plan on residing there for a chunk of your lifetime. A good way to know of the future developments is to visit the city hall. If there's any development plans for the future, this will be a great place to start.
The space dedicated to your home can look pretty spacious, but do you own every inch? That horrific tree you planned to cut down once you purchase your home turns out to grow from your neighbors property. There are many occasions where a land survey unearths inaccurate information. It's best to closely look at your future land with a professional eye, not through the sellers knowledge.
Before you commit to anything, grab a calculator. Lay out all of your current expenses that are not home related. Now, add the expected expenses of actually owning the home.Include the extras of maintenance and the various insurances needed. Don't forget Uncle Sam loves his taxes for breakfast so make sure that meal is within your equation.
If you have children, planning on having some or none at all, the quality of the local schools should be a deciding factor. The quality of the school does effect the value of your property. This will be the leading source of your child's future knowledge and friendships. Try visiting the school to learn about what your child could experience. Access their records to get an idea of the quality of the education being provided.
Sometimes what you see is not what you get. You can find out what's going on behind that closed door, but what about behind the walls? Don't leave the inspector to tell you the condition of the home. Dig into the records of the home from breaking ground to today. If there's an attic, check for water stains, decaying wood and proper wiring.
Expect a showdown when it comes to negotiation. Make as many realistic offers to the seller to help shave down the asking price. You may feel like you're in a tennis match swapping at counter offers, but every little effort pays off. Know what you want and stand as firm as you can. Most importantly, know when to fold.
Down payment equals equity. The more you put down on your home, the greater your chances of actually owning your home. Sure there are alleys of full financing with nothing down, but this method makes the house less yours and creates less appreciation.
Even though you have the "ready to buy" itch, don't scratch it just as yet. Negotiate continuously during the buying process. "The wood flooring needs to be replaced. I need a discount". Present every cost effective issue to the seller to help reduce that big sticker price to a more comfortable number.
You have the price you want. Now, there's a contract being waved in your face. You want to get to the escrow portion of the sale so no one else can snatch your home from underneath you. Don't grab that pen just as yet. Read the contract once, once again and then again. Have someone else review the contract just in case you missed something. Ask as many questions possible to assure that you know what you are signing. This is a huge commitment so take all the time you're allowed.