Your first house can be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. It shouldn’t be a hasty decision if you want to have a pleasant home-ownership experience. You wouldn’t want to pick your favorite listing and immediately close the deal. Here are some pointers to remember to help you get started.
1. Do not stretch beyond what you can afford
Before searching online listings or talking with real estate agents, you must know how much you can afford. As much as possible, your monthly home loan repayments should be less than 30% of your monthly earnings. Aside from the mortgage, remember that there are several fees relevant to a home purchase. These include insurance, association fees, repairs, maintenance, property taxes, and professional fees. Plus, you have to cover your daily expenses and save for emergencies.
If you are living in an expensive real estate market and you are short on finances, you can consider buying a TIC property. More home buyers nowadays are turning to this non-traditional co-ownership as the price of houses and condos continue to rise. TIC or tenancy in common is a new type of co-ownership that allows multiple people to buy a single property at once.
Typically, TIC properties are multi-unit buildings, duplexes, or subdivided homes. This makes owning a property cheaper because two or more buyers can split the property taxes and gain exclusive right to occupy a specific unit in the entire property.
2. Work with experts
While you save on commission when you buy directly from the seller, it’s a critical misstep. A house is a big purchase, and you need to partner with experienced professionals so that you can make make a smart buying decision. You need a trusted real estate agent to give you sound advice on homeownership so you can avoid overpaying for your house.
It’s prudent to work with a licensed home inspector to check for issues and save you from nasty surprises and costly repairs in the future. When buying a property, it’s always a smart decision to hire people who are more intelligent than you. But be picky with the professionals that you’ll work with. Personal referrals are the best way to go.
3. Get to know the neighborhood
The neighborhood is an important aspect to investigate before buying a home. You want your house to be located in a safe area that is accessible to public transport, schools, shops, and amenities. To know what goes on around the area, you can drive around the location, seek information from the local law enforcement agency, talk with local agents, and do some online research.
4. Don’t feel pressured
Remember that real estate agents are trained to do convincing sales pitches. They want to close the sale as quickly as possible, so they might urge you to rush your purchase before someone else snatches the rare opportunity. Do not be ashamed to back away if you feel you’re being pressured. You will be likely to regret your decision if you give in to pressure without taking the time to consider it properly.
House hunting can take longer than you expected. Do not set an unrealistic timeline and take the time to find the home that’s right for you.