The act of buying that first home can cause a lot of stress. There are quite a few things that a typical buyer simply does not understand about the whole process. The legal language used in real estate contracts, the difference between the appraisal and home inspection, and the whole financing part can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few things to keep in mind for first time home buyers.
Be Realistic When Computing Your Potential Mortgage Payment
It is easy to go online and find a mortgage calculator. However, that is only part of the equation. You will also need an estimate for property insurance and property taxes. A local insurance agent can give you an estimate for the insurance based on the value of the home and the area you are considering. A local title insurance office can give you an estimate for the property taxes.
Put Your Priorities on Paper
Before talking to a mortgage lender or a real estate agent sit down with some paper and a pen. Write down the things you MUST have in your home. Write down things you would like to have but can live without. Finally, write down the things you CANNOT tolerate. This short list will help you and your agent when you begin to search for possible homes.
Consider not only the home itself but the yard, the neighborhood and the items that need to be close by. This list will be different for every family based on their own needs and desires so take your time writing out your preferences.
Make Allowances for the Unexpected Expenses
It is a good idea to save 15% to 20% of the monthly payment in a maintenance/repair fund. This will help you pay for the necessary items such as a leak in a water pipe or a window that needs replacing. It can also help you plan for the major items like replacing the roof, the water heater or the main HVAC system.
A famous man once said that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Buying a house can seem almost like a monumental task. However, stay true to your priorities and take everything as it comes and you will be just fine.
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