Buying a house is a significant investment. More than likely it will be the biggest purchase of your life. Because of this, there are steps you should take before, during and after making the purchase. Without checking everything off, you could find yourself in a rut, not knowing what to do or whether this was the right move for you.
So if you are looking at buying a house, here are a few steps to consider before you accept the keys to your new home.
See What You Can Afford
It’s fun to look at all the fancy million-dollar houses on the market to see what they are like inside. But unless you know for sure you can afford it, don’t get your hopes up.
Before you begin to look, set yourself a budget and figure out what you can afford. This will include multiple factors like a down payment, monthly mortgage payments, realtor and legal fees, additional housing costs and home insurance.
It’s a good idea to have a savings account already established beforehand. There are two reasons behind this. One, in case of unexpected costs or losing a source of income, you will be able to make your mortgage payments until you get everything back on track. Two, the savings account will make getting a loan easier since the lender knows you can afford to make payments even if you lose your job.
Once you have an idea as to what price of a house you really can afford and any other costs involved, you can then start to find houses to go and look at.
Shop Around With a Real Estate Agent
Especially if this is your first home, hire a real estate agent to help find you the perfect home. They will be able to give you helpful insight into the process and things to look out for. Their knowledge of the real estate market it is extremely valuable to you.
Select multiple houses within your price range to take a look. Make a note of what you like and don’t like so you can go through everything later on. Take everything into consideration, including the neighborhood, the structure of the house and anything else that comes to mind.
Get a Building Inspection
If you are serious about buying a house it is highly recommended you get a building inspection prior to purchasing. A new home is a very large investment and to make the wrong choice could end up costing tens of thousands of dollars. A home building inspection will asssess the condition of the property, identifying any defects or structural issues. An untrained eye with no expertise can easily miss important factors so hiring a professional building inspector is crucial.
Close The Sale
So you found the house you love, now it’s time to close the sale. Make an offer with your real estate agent and get all the financing you need to complete the deal. This will include getting approved for a mortgage.
Make sure to hold on to any papers you receive throughout the closing process. They will be handy come tax time if there are any tax breaks for first time home buyers. You will want them around for when you plan to sell the property.
Purchase Home Insurance
House insurance is essential to protect your property and everything inside of it. Speak with an insurer to see what package policy is best for you. Home insurance is not always expensive if you compare options, so take the time to shop around between different insurers.
Enjoy the process of buying a home. It is an exciting time but can become overwhelming quickly if you are not prepared. Take the steps needed to make the transition to your home as smooth as possible.