Currently I’m renting my home and after months of searching, saving, and almost purchasing a nightmare of a property, I have learned a lot about the home buying process. I’ve finally settled on getting a home built for me that fits the needs of the family, while also being an investment for me to sell in the future. Today I’ll go over 5 things I’ve learned about buying your first home.
I’ve put this guide together because I had no idea what the hell I was doing when I first set out to find a home to buy. My parents always rented and couldn’t offer much in the way of guidance. It has been one of those things where trial, error, and figuring it out on your own is the only way to get through.
1. Know What You’re Getting Into
This is a no-brainer, but I had to include it. Realize that when you sign the papers, you’re in it for the long haul. This means that things like losing your job or an injury that keeps you from working can impact where you live. Also, a mortgage is something much bigger than just paying rent. You have to think of the longevity of the mortgage and budget accordingly. Which brings me to my next point
2. You Need Way More Cash Than You Think You Do
Closing fees, taxes, inspections, appraisals etc. These were all terms I’ve heard before, but never really thought about in the context of home buying. I went in too early and realized that I’d be depleting way too much of my savings to purchase a home that frankly, wasn’t worth it. Make sure you have enough saved for closing and settlement as well as for things like new appliances and furniture. Making sure you have fees for other things are important too, which brings us to lesson 3
3. Get The Property Inspected
I was about to sign the papers on, what seemed to me, to be a beautiful home. I was luckily smart enough to put in my offer a clause that let me back out if the home failed a home inspection, which it ultimately did. Termite damage and it failed a radon test, so luckily I got out of that pretty quickly. It costed me $300.00 of my one money, but I dodged a bullet on that one. Be sure to get a ASHI certified home inspector. This guy is on your dime so his report is to make sure you’re not getting screwed over.
4. Take Your Time
When you’ve outgrown where you’re living and want something different, you can overlook things just to get out. Your real estate agent is there to work with you, and its their job to show you homes and find listings for you. Don’t feel compelled to buy the first house you see. I ended up looking at over 20 properties before realizing that having one built is within my means, and I get everything I want. Its one of those big decisions you don’t want to rush.
5. Know Your Needs
A 6 bedroom house sounds like a lot of fun,but it takes a lot to run a home that big. Bills, taxes, land upkeep, energy etc are all things that you should think about before taking the plunge. Obviously, live within whatever means you have, and if you need/can afford a huge home, go for it, just remember to stay on your budget and consider things that may change in your life (kids moving off to college, wanting to move to a new location etc)
I’m happy in my decision and know I’ll end up with what I need/want in the long run. It has been one of those crazy experiences of life that you may not be ready for but you face eventually. I want to stress that if you aren’t in a position to buy, then it is foolish to do so, but if its something you’re down with, and ready to do, hopefully these lessons I’ve learned can help you.