Buying a home for the very first time can be an exciting adventure that results in a quaint and charming dream home in which you will start a family, create a life, and build a successful future. Finding this charming house, though, often requires a not-so-charming process. If you are a first-time home buyer, consider this short list of do's and don'ts that will help you do the right things while avoiding common first-timer mistakes.
Do Your Research
First, it is crucial that home buyers do a great deal of research before they start hitting the streets and viewing open houses. Research the housing markets in your area, and compare markets to one another. Evaluate school systems, proximity to amenities and important highways, information about builders and contractors, and the years in which houses were built. The more information about a housing market you have in advance, the less likely you are to make a buying mistake.
It's also important to research information about a home mortgage and prepare your financing in advance. The financing process can take several months, so you should have your money in place before you begin your search.
Do Hire a Professional
Another suggested "do" for first-time home buyers is to hire a professional. A real estate agent can evaluate your needs and wants and help guide your search toward houses within your price range that better meet these needs. Agents can answer important home buyer and future homeowner questions, too.
Do Evaluate Your Wants vs. Needs
One mistake that many first-time home buyers make is blurring the distinction between wants and needs. Your list of needs should include only the essential amenities that a home must have. Your list of wants can be more extensive. You should prioritize a "wants" list from the most important to the least important, so you can decide what should be sacrificed when you begin looking at homes.
Don't Buy Too Much House
It's crucial to purchase a house that you can afford. This involves more than just the price tag on a home. Remember, bigger houses come with more property taxes, more upkeep responsibilities, and more potential problems that can result in big costs in the future.
Don't Rush the Process
The biggest "don't" in the home buying adventure is rushing the process. Never place an offer on the first home you see unless you have evaluated several other properties. Finding the balance between taking one's time and acting quickly to avoid losing out on a property can be difficult. When in doubt, err on the side of caution.