Are you thinking about purchasing your first home? Congratulations! Purchasing your first home is a monumental moment in your life, that should be handled with nothing less than diligence and care.
As you take this celebratory step in your life, there are a few things that you should be aware of before you sign off on the dotted line.
Continue reading to explore the five things first-time home buyers need to know.
Research the Neighborhood
The neighborhood in which your home is located plays a larger role than many realize. You may have found the perfect home that goes above and beyond to meet your expectations; however, the neighborhood may not ideally fit your lifestyle.
We recommend completely immersing yourself in your potential new neighborhood before you sign off on the home you have chosen. Take a drive through the neighborhood and pay attention to certain aspects such as the noise levels, what amenities are located close to the home and the schools nearby.
As well, if you have found the perfect neighborhood but are not completely in love with the homes around, there is no need to worry!
Moving to a desirable neighbourhood and completing some renovations are fantastic ways to increase the value of your property. While it is not for everyone, looking for a fixer-upper in a wonderful neighbourhood is a smart financial plan.
Understand How Much of a Down Payment You Need to Make
Traditionally, a 20% or higher down payment is required. However, over the years this percentage has since been adjusted to allow first-time home buyers to purchase a home with little or no down payment.
With a delicate look at your finances, you are able to make an educated decision when it comes down to how much of a down payment you should make. However, keep in mind that if you put down less than 20%, you will be required to pay Primary Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
Buying More Than You Can Afford
It’s easy to fall in love with homes that are out of your price range, but it’s not a good idea to spend more than you can afford.
Purchasing a home that you cannot afford long-term increases your chances of foreclosure if you experience financial difficulties.
Focus first on what monthly payment you can afford instead of the maximum loan amount you qualify for. Just because you qualify for a $300,000 loan doesn’t mean you can afford the monthly payments on top of other financial commitments. Consider your entire financial profile when deciding how much house you can afford.
Each individual’s situation is unique, so consider your entire financial profile when deciding how much of a home you can afford.
Consider Home Improvement or Maintenance Costs
Before signing off on the paperwork for your perfect home, it is important to pencil in home improvement and maintenance costs (because, after all, no home is truly perfect, and accidents happen!).
Some of these costs will be one-time expenses, such as fixing a drain or getting your roof re-shingled. However, others will be continuing.
Check to see whether aspects of your future home, such as your furnace or roof, will need to be replaced soon, and consider the day-to-day landscaping or basic repairs you may need to make in the future.
We strongly advise you to set up a contingency fund for the unforeseen maintenance that comes with owning a house. Preparing for the unexpected is the smartest move you can make before you become a homeowner!
Working with a Real Estate Agent is Valuable
Many first-time home buyers make the error of not sufficiently analyzing their real estate agents within their area before they start the process of searching for their first home.
A knowledgeable and educated agent will serve as the middleman between you and your future home, negotiating terms on your behalf. When it comes to negotiating, you’ll want an agent that will put your interests first. As well, agents play a crucial role in assuring you not only find your dream home but you will be happy within it.
That’s why it is crucial to take the time to chat with several agents to find the one that will best suit your needs.
Let KCS Brokers Find Your First Home
Becoming a first-time home buyer is an exciting time, but it is crucial that you are going on this journey with open eyes.
With the helping hand of Kaitlyn Siracusa at KCS Brokers, we can guarantee you will be in great hands.
Kaitlyn’s commitment, integrity, and enthusiasm, coupled with her extensive market expertise, excellent negotiating skills, client base, and innovative marketing, continue to deliver proven results when it comes to helping first-time home buyers like yourself find their dream home.
Looking for a home in the New Jersey area? Reach out to Kaitlyn today!