For many adults, buying a first home is one of the top priorities. However, it looks like a long, laborious process, and some may wonder if it’s even possible right now. The bad news is that it can be very time-consuming, but it can be done.
If you’re buying a home, you’re not alone: in the past decade, first-time homebuyers made up for an average of 30% of overall house purchases. If you’re curious about how much goes into home buying, check out this quick rundown of what you’ll need to make the first step.
Decide Why You Want to Buy Your First Home
Diamond & Diamond states that purchasing property is a major investment and is possibly one of the biggest expenses you’ll ever have. That’s why it’s so important to stop and think about why you want to buy a home, and if you’re ready to become a homeowner. If you’re ready to get out of renting or a parent’s house and want to take on the additional expenses of owning property, move onto the next step.
Shop for a Mortgage
In order to begin shopping for homes, you have to become pre-approved for a mortgage to determine how much you can afford. Take a look at your credit score, gather all the information you need, and contact more than one lender. In a way, you have to shop for a home loan before you can buy a house. You can look for USDA homes for sale with low interest rates if you want to settle in rural areas.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t accept more than you’re willing to pay back over time. Calculate how much the total cost per month is (not just the mortgage) and see if that’s within your budget. The first place to look is first-time homebuyer assistance programs that can lower your interest rates or help you with your down payment or closing costs.
Get Your Finances in Order
A big part about shopping for a home and a mortgage is knowing how much you can afford. You may be pre-approved for a home loan, but you’ll also need to keep your credit healthy and save up in the meantime. Consider other fees such as closing costs, any renovations, and moving in. Never assume you have it covered – it’s always best to have a little extra saved up for unexpected expenses other than the upfront costs.
Hire a Professional
If you thought you were going to go through the journey alone, think again. There are many professionals that hold an important role in the home buying process — no matter how much experience you have. Sellers have an agent to fight for their best interest – it’s only fair that you have a real estate agent to have someone in your corner, too.
Complete the Pre-Buying Process
From the moment you make an offer to the second you sign the closing papers, there are many steps to ensure that you’re getting and paying what you bargained for. Once you take your pick, you need to complete a home inspection to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. If any issues arise, you can discuss a lower price or continue searching for homes.
While it may be one of the most intimidating stages in one’s life, it may also be equally rewarding. Consult with the experts and be objective about your needs and your budget. With enough dedication and patience, you’ll set foot in a home that’s truly your own.