Preparing to Purchase Your First Home

Steps to take to ensure that your first home-buying experience will be successful

You are finally at the point in your life where you feel ready to buy a home. But are you really prepared? The home-buying process is a very big task, and it can be overwhelming to anyone who hasn’t walked through it before. In fact, it is often still overwhelming even to those who have done it before.

More importantly, you don’t want to be among the large group of people who lost their homes because they were uneducated about the options and essentially bit off more than they could chew when they signed off on their mortgages. Make sure that you and your family are prepared to become home owners with this advice.

Should you buy or should you rent?

Is buying a home really what you want to do? Don’t make decisions based on what society tells you to do at this stage in life. Instead factor in you and your family’s needs. Consider the added responsibilities when it comes to owning your own place. If you prefer handing maintenance and appliance repair to someone else, then renting might be your preferred option. 

Weigh all the pros and cons before choosing an option for your family. Let every family member have a say. This is a big decision and will affect everyone, so everyone’s opinions should not be taken lightly.

Go over your finances thoroughly

Financial planning is the most important step when you are considering buying a home. Go over every penny and find out just how much room you have to devote to a mortgage or loan payment.

You also need to save up for one time expenses, like moving costs and a down payment. Other costs that need to be considered outside of the mortgage payment include utilities, lawn maintenance, building fees and other monthly fees. Some of these cannot be predicted until you find the exact home you want to buy, but you can easily figure out average costs for the neighborhood you want to live in and plan around that.

You can also prepare yourself even more by paying off old debts. Using short loans like those from TitleMax can be helpful in tight situations, but these should all be paid off prior to taking on a mortgage. Once smaller debts are resolved, you can feel confident about making a new financial commitment. This can also improve your credit scores, which could help you get better interest rates when applying for home loans.

Start looking at houses

This feels like it should be the first step, especially when you are excited to get into your first home. But don’t get ahead of yourself by falling in love with homes that are not right for you and your family.

Watching shows on HGTV and flipping through magazines will help you and your family define what you want in a home, everything from layout to design features to architecture to location. Once you have narrowed your scope, you can begin looking for homes that match these qualities in your chosen neighborhood. Then you can finally begin the process of buying your first home.