So you’ve decided that it’s time to get your own home. This is probably one of the most exciting yet challenging decisions you’ll ever make. Having your own home means more independence, privacy, and the ability to decorate it however you please.
But this decision must be taken seriously – after all, this is a big financial undertaking. This will entail planning, research, and fieldwork. So before you say yes to the house, keep these things in mind.
Ask yourself: are you ready?
Before you even start researching for houses, ask yourself first if you are truly ready to take this step. Owning a house is a lot more expensive than renting one out. You’ll need to maintain it, pay for insurance and taxes, and pay for additional utilities.
Check your finances. Do you have any debts? It’s better to settle them before you buy a house. Consider saving up an emergency fund too, in case there are unexpected payments needed to be settled.
Have a list of wants and needs
This is the time to bring out your checklist of things you want for your house. How many rooms do you want? Does the house need to have a bath, or is a shower just fine? Do you want it to have a front yard? Which area do you want it to be in? How far away should it be from the bus station?
List your wants and your needs for your first home. This can help you narrow down choices once you start checking out potential houses.
As much as you have your dream home in mind and you want everything to be perfect, it’s not going to be that way. And as a future first-time homeowner, chances are this will not be your dream home.
Factors like your budget, the location, and many more may affect your choices. You also have to think about future finances and unexpected costs. So while the house you eventually choose must be one that you want to live in, do set your expectations.
Start scouting for loans
So now that you’ve psyched yourself and found potential homes in the area, you need to start shopping for a loan. Before you even get to buy a house, you actually need to be pre-approved for a mortgage.
Look into the margin of finance of the home loan you’re interested in. Remember, the higher the margin, the higher you’ll pay per installment. Once you’ve found a loan that fits what you need, then you can start house-hunting.
Find a good realtor
Now that you have your checklist and loan ready, now you’ll need to find a realtor. A good realtor must listen to what you need and want, and then make recommendations for houses that would suit your budget and your needs. They will also help you negotiate terms on the house. Ask your circle for good realtor recommendations.
Don’t forget to inspect potential houses
You’ve found a house that you like. You must request an inspection. Home inspection lets you know more about the house, and any potential problems it may have, such as termite infestation or even foundation problems. Inspection can save you thousands of dollars in repairs in the future. Any damage seen may also be a negotiating term for the buying price to go lower. For this step, it’s best to get a home inspector for this so they can thoroughly go through the property and see any hidden damages in the house.
The prospect of owning your own house is truly exhilarating, but remember to be practical too and find a house that fits your budget and needs.