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Buying a home is one of the greatest feelings, but it can also seem like one of the most stressful and confusing processes. As one of the largest financial purchases an individual will ever make, homebuyers must be as informed as possible. Unfortunately, many facts aren’t readily known by most buyers entering a real estate transaction for the first time. If you’re considering buying a home for the first time, here are ten essential things that you should know:
- You Don’t Need an Agent, But You Should Use One
You can sell or buy real estate without hiring a real estate agent. However, in most cases, you may lose more money than you save by purchasing a home without an agent’s help. Agents have the knowledge, experience, and resources you need to achieve your real estate goals while securing your financial goals. And an agent collects their fee from the seller!
- Buying a Home Involves More Money Than Only the Sale Price
There are many expenses aside from your down payment, including closing costs, moving costs, repair/renovation costs, and new furniture purchases. As you budget for your home, make sure you’re taking more than just the listing price or mortgage price into consideration.
- You’re Allowed to Ask as Many Questions as You Want
You need to be comfortable and confident in the home that you’re buying, which means you should ask as many questions as you desire. Your agent and the seller will gladly address your concerns and make sure you can make a responsible, informed decision.
- You Don’t Need a 20% Down Payment
Although it’s the standard, a 20 percent down payment is only one of many options. Some lenders will accept lower down payment percentages while other loan programs may not ask for a down payment at all if you qualify. If you have the money on-hand, you can also present a cash offer to the seller.
- You Must Have Your Finances in Order
Your credit report, income statements, savings account, and mortgage preapproval can influence your ability to buy a home successfully. Before you begin your house hunt, make sure your finances are presentable and that you’re able to secure and afford a mortgage loan.
- Sometimes, Sales Fall Apart
Despite your best efforts, there are many reasons why home sales fall apart even after a seller accepts your offer. From failed inspections to issues with lending institutions, sometimes a home sale does not successfully follow through as planned. Don’t be discouraged; your dreams of homeownership will still happen.
- No Home is Perfect
As you live in your new home, you’ll begin to notice certain aspects you don’t enjoy. Whether it’s the backyard flooding during heavy rainstorms or how the sun heats a particular room in the morning, no homeowner is ever delighted with every inch of their home. Thankfully, you can fix most “imperfections” and make your home that much more enjoyable.
- School Districts are Important for All Homeowners
Even if you don’t have children attending school, the school district serving your home will significantly impact its value over time. Try to purchase a home within a district that has a history of high rankings.
- There is No True “Right Time to Buy”
Although there are times when the market is generally more favorable to buyers, there is no “perfect” time to buy a home. Even when purchasing a home in a preferable market, the market could change by the time you’re ready to sell. The only right time to buy a home is when it feels right for you.
- Don’t buy anything on credit before you close on your home
Wait until you close on your new home before you finance anything for you home, such as furniture or washer and dryer combos. Definitely don’t buy a new car!
Buying a home may seem overwhelming, but detailed knowledge of the process can make it much less stressful. Learn as much as you can about buying a home before you place an offer and always feel free to consult me for advice.
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