Deciding that the time has come to purchase a home means making a financial commitment that will likely influence your budget for several decades. This is why it is so important to make sure that there will be no regrets after the purchase. Since the best way to ensure this is to plan and prepare as completely as possible, the following tips are a good place to begin.
Rule 1: Rent until you can comfortably afford to buy
When renting, it is common to hear others advise that you are "throwing your money away by renting", but this is seldom true. In fact, tenants have no responsibility to pay for home insurance, property taxes, repairs, maintenance, utilities, and many other ongoing costs that homeowners must pay. So, before buying, make sure that you can comfortably afford all these costs on any home that you consider purchasing.
Rule 2: Buy at the bottom of your price range
When applying for a home mortgage, many buyers are given a price range in which they are able to buy. Unfortunately, many of these buyers go on to purchase a home near the top of the range, instead of near the bottom. This means that each monthly payment will be more expensive, as well as the initial costs of the purchase, including inspections, closing costs, and the down payment. To make your home buying experience as pleasant as possible throughout your years of ownership, consider opting to purchase less home, not more.
Rule 3: Make sure that the location works for you
Transportation costs, such as fuel, tires, and car maintenance should also be considered when deciding which home to purchase. If the home you like requires a much longer commute to work and school, you may quickly fall out of love with the home after the purchase. To avoid this, take time to consider the location factor carefully when looking for a home to purchase.
Rule 4: Think carefully before considering a fixer-upper as a first purchase
When purchasing a home in a competitive market it can be tempting to consider a fixer-upper home. If this is a first purchase, however, this may not be the best possible idea. Since even small repairs can become larger, more expensive ones if the owner lacks the time, money, or knowledge to handle them, buying a more expensive home that is ready to move into can be the smarter choice.
For even more helpful advice to improve your home buying experience, consider partnering with the right real estate professional. Look for one that offers excellent referrals from recent clients and works hard to maintain communication with their clients.