Buying your first home is both an exciting time and a fearful time. Purchasing a home is a significant milestone in many people’s lifetime. It’s unfortunate that many of life’s most momentous occasions are both the best of times and the worst of times.
Because while house hunting for the first time can be exciting it is also a stressful and confusing process.
But it certainly doesn’t have to be.
Among all of the uncertainty and hesitation, it’s important to remember a few key things to avoid during the home buying process to assure your transaction goes as smoothly as possible.
- Don’t spend more than you can afford on a home.
Before you even start shopping for a house, take a good look at your budget. Keep in mind both your income and any existing expenses. Also, there are two drastically different ways of looking at homes; ‘what you can afford’ when buying a home is a common first-time buyer mistake, and what you can afford while maintaining your current lifestyle are two entirely different numbers. A realistic financial plan from the outset will help you stay within your budget.
- Failing to calculate true costs
It is easy to overlook the additional expenses of home ownership. There is going to be a wake-up call for first-time home buyers who are looking at just their principal and interest monthly payments. It is your job as a buyer to make sure you factor all the costs involved when purchasing a home. Your mortgage loan officer or your realtor will be critical in helping you understand which fees apply to you, how much those fees will be, and what your options are.
Congratulations, you have your first home!
Are you ready for all of the costs that come with buying your first house, and all the costs that come with home ownership?
Here’s what you need up front; money for home inspection, money for closing costs (beyond the down payment). The closing costs usually can possibly be taken care of through the seller with the correct structuring of the contract or even paid for through down payment assistance.
Here are your reoccurring fees, once the keys are in your hands, there are additional expenses you will need to pay on top of your monthly mortgage payment. You may have to pay fees to a homeowners’ association and don’t forget your utilities bill might be larger than when you had your apartment. When deciding how much you can afford to pay each month for a home, build these expenses into your budget.
- Skipping the Home Inspection
We know, you’re stressed, you see the money flying out of the window. You may start to think of ways to start saving along the process. One of the things you may think skip is the home inspection. After all, you’ve seen the property yourself and nothing appears to be wrong and home inspections are not required.
But buying a house without an inspection is extraordinarily risky because serious problems can exist. Professional inspectors often notice things most of us don’t, and an inspection helps you negotiate with the current homeowner to have the issues fixed or adjust the price accordingly.
New home ownership is wonderful. Pay attention, read every document, listen to the professionals who are standing by your side to help guide you, after all, they’ve been through this a time or two. Your mortgage and real estate professionals should always be willing to answer your questions and be attentive and understanding of your needs. Make sure that you work with the right people that you trust and can get a hold of. These will be your “team” for your entire home buying experience.
Ready to move this process forward? Take a look at some of the great programs available like the Open Doors program or the Arizona HFA Preferred program. You can also get in touch with us today at (602) 429-6789 to learn about which programs work best for you and your family.
The Certo Team
55 N. Arizona Place
Chandler, AZ 85225