Buying your first home is like no other purchase. It's a purchase that will most likely be part of your life for many years and provide the location where lifetime memories will be made.
Purchasing a home is considered both a financial emotional investment. You're putting your money into something that you hope will make some money down the road. At the same time, you want it to feel like home. That's why you should carefully consider all the pros and cons of a house before you make an offer.
It's not uncommon that homebuyers experience some type of regret after buying a home, especially first time home buyers. But it's not necessary to fall into that category. In fact, we've gathered some handy advice that will help you not make the mistake of purchasing the wrong home for your needs.
1. Budget Wisely
Did you sit down and budget how much you could afford to spend on a mortgage each month? Have you considered the cost of home owner's insurance, possible mortgage insurance (if you have a low downpayment), property taxes, and utilities on top of your mortgage?
What about upkeep costs? Are you prepared to mow your lawn or will you have enough money to pay a lawn service company to handle it?
Is the house energy efficient? Did you check the gas and electricity bills prior to buying to determine the average cost of heating and cooling the home?
Finally, look at your current credit card statements and determine where your money is being spend. Do you spend a fair amount each month on entertainment and restaurants/bars? How will your lifestyle be impacted by being a homeowner? Where can you cut some expenses? If you don't think you can alter some of your spending, you may want to reconsider how much you can spend on a home.
Finalizing a budget specific to your needs and particular circumstances will allow you to narrow down your home search. Having specific parameters will make the home buying process much easier in the long run. Be careful and honest with yourself. Once you have a budget, don't back down. Stick to it or you may regret ever having bought the house in the first place.
2. Consider How Much You Can Offer
With the help of your Usaj Realty broker, you can make an educated decision on whether or not to offer above the listing price. At Usaj Realty, our brokers are expert negotiators and they will help you get the best price possible. You should feel confident in how much to offer for a property to both avoid over-paying and have assurance that the home appraisal will be appropriate. Spending more than what you've budgeted is a sure way to feel buyer's remorse.
3. Research Homes You Can Actually Afford
Don't look at or consider homes that are outside your budget. It's important to be fiscally resolute when it comes to determining how much you can afford for a downpayment and what your loan amount looks like. You'll end up wasting time if you look at homes that don't align with your finances.
4. Don't Forget the Home Inspection
OK, you're under contract. Great! But how do you know the house is exactly as advertised? Avoiding a home inspection before buying is like not taking a used car out for a spin before bringing it home. It may look all nice and shiny on the outside, but it could actually have many underlying issues.
A professional home inspection report will give you an unbiased assessment of all inner and outer workings of the house, and what needs to be repaired. Your Usaj Realty broker will assist you in choosing a qualified inspector and getting the appointment set up. The inspection report will help you formulate a plan on whether to ask for specific repairs, negotiate on others or pull your offer off the table completely.
Even in a competitive market, you should never forego a home inspection. Major problems in a home may require thousands of dollars to repair and potentially blow your budget, leading to buyer's remorse.
5. Don't Let the Amenities Cloud the Big Picture
Ask yourself: What did you set out to buy? Have you gotten sidetracked by not-so-necessary but pretty amenities or home features that skew the price? Keep in mind those accessories may be easier and less expensive to install yourself in the future.
Don't get wrapped up in current trends that on the surface are appealing but may not be in another five years. Know what you want before you go looking. Make a list and stick to it. This first home buying experience can be an emotional trip. You don't want to get tripped up and forget about the big picture.
You'll have no regrets if you stay the course and remain level-headed throughout the process.
Essentially, the best advice we can provide is to be as rational as you can by planning ahead and sticking to your original vision and budget. Don't set yourself up for failure!
Make a plan and stick to it. And if you have any other questions, contact us and tell us what's on your mind. Happy house hunting!