Purchasing your first home is daunting for all the obvious reasons – you will spend a good chunk of your life within its four walls so you are meant to choose a place that is definitely worth the price you’re paying. Therefore, the household has to be future-proof and you have to consider all the contingencies. If you are in dire need of proper guidance in this field, have no fear: here are some comprehensive tips on how to avoid mistakes when you’re buying your first home.
Only according to your financial capabilities
Purchasing a home within your price range sounds like a logical place to start, however, many people still tend to go beyond their financial capabilities, swayed by the flashy credit packages and hokey loan plans. Before you even start browsing, you have to sort your credit out. First of all, a bad score can impede your chances to get a mortgage loan and a paying plan that looks healthy. All the payments have to be made on time and in full amount.
Furthermore, try to stand by the golden rule of paying no more than 25% of gross income on a mortgage (although most will stretch the recommendation to 28%). This golden rule is also known as the “housing ratio”. Additionally, be prepared in advance for the “typical” down payment of 20% of the full household price.
Keep everything on record and save every sheet of paper
This is one of the most crucial and practical tips that might just save your life if things go sideways – save every single little piece of paper and keep the record of every transaction. Doing things online is all fine and dandy, but having all physical evidence sorted by date in a file is still the most definite guarantee for a good night’s sleep.
Save up every bill with a date/time stamp and make sure the ink doesn’t wear off. Even when the purchase is done and everything seems to be in order, keep that file in your drawer and do not lose it even if ten years have passed since the purchase.
Hit it off with the right agency
Finding the right agent or real estate agency is half the job in the bag. The market is overflowing with firms and “professionals” that are quick on words and offering miracles, but you should always seek a reliable and respected agency like White Square Properties for your peace of mind and a smooth purchase. Reliable firms come especially handy when you are in a stressful time-crunch while looking for a new home, and pre-made packages and consultations are always on the table.
Negotiations are always kosher
You are not exactly haggling on the flea market, but if you’ve landed a good agent, you can probably negotiate with the seller. Don’t test your luck and always have a financing in place before you begin the negotiation, since most sellers won’t even look at your offer otherwise. FHA loans are the most popular ones among the first-time buyers, so you should probably opt for that plan.
A good agent will examine the pending sales, provide comparable sales and give you a reasonable price range which can really help with managing expectations.
Make a contract contingency
A thorough contract contingency can pull you out of a bad deal. You need to request a detailed home inspection before you purchase a home, but if this is not an option, contract contingency is always a “clause” you can fall back on. Certain bad aspects of your “dream home” might not be apparent at first glance, maybe it has bad insulation, a faulty foundation, or other flaws. In this case, the well drawn-up contract contingency can serve as a mean to cancel the contract.
If you follow these tips to a T, you can be pretty sure you’ll end up with just the right household in your possession. Of course, if this does not turn out to be the house of your dreams, you can always tweak it and renovate according to your sensibilities. You will not be the first or the last person who has not found the ideal home, and there are always ways to “try again”. However, if you play your cards right, the first home you buy will also be your last.