7 Things To Know Before You Buy Your First Home
Buying a home for the first time is a major milestone in anyone’s life. After all, a home is the most expensive purchase most people ever make. A smart home purchase is an investment that can last a lifetime—even longer if you pass your home on to your children.
Your new home represents years of dreaming and saving, but the real estate process can be confusing to first-time buyers. Get a jump on the market with these seven lessons to learn before you buy your first home.
A great realtor is priceless
First-time homebuyers have everything to gain by working with a realtor. A licensed realtor knows the ins and outs of the real estate game. You may be tempted to represent yourself, but don’t discount a realtor’s knowledge and experience. A great realtor should be able to fully explain the entire home buying process, comfortably walking you through everything from viewing a listing to picking up the keys to your first home.
Buying a home can be confusing when you’ve never done it before, but your realtor has gone through the process many times. They can reassure you during tense moments, as well as let you know when something feels off. Your realtor also has a valuable network of contacts. When you choose a great realtor, you can lean on them to recommend inspectors, mortgage brokers, moving companies, contractors, and more. 2
Be strategic about your budget
When you take out a mortgage, you’re making a long-lasting financial commitment. Banks may approve your mortgage for a higher amount than you need. Be thoughtful when deciding your budget, because you’ll be living with that decision for decades to come!
Think carefully about how much house you can afford, and make sure to consider costs that aren’t included in your mortgage. Basic maintenance, emergency repairs, property taxes, renovations, and many other factors can add to your yearly home costs. You should also make plans for what happens if your financial situation changes. If one homeowner loses their job, can you afford your mortgage on the other person’s salary? Have these conversations early in the home buying process so you’re not caught by surprise later. 3.
A home warranty protects your investment
Once you buy a home, you’re directly responsible for everything that goes wrong! The days of calling a landlord for repairs are over. Luckily, you can protect your new investment by taking out a home warranty. These insurance policies cover repairs and replacements on most major appliances and systems throughout your home. When something breaks, your home warranty provides for the cost of repairs. If necessary, full replacements are also covered. You are only responsible for a flat service fee, which can save you thousands of dollars out of pocket.
Many sellers include one year of a home warranty as part of their offer. If your seller hasn’t included such a policy, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Your first leaking pipe or broken appliance is stressful enough without worrying about finances and a home warranty is a wise investment in your home. 4.
Be ready to move quickly
You’re in control
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