What You Need to Know Before Buying a Home
Buying a home is an exciting, yet stressful, endeavor. Whether it’s your first home, you’re looking for something bigger, or you’re downsizing, the entire process can be just as exhausting as it is exciting. The best way to make sure that you have as smooth of a process as possible is to make sure you have a good realtor that has your best interest at heart and to make sure you evaluate your current situation and what life will be like after the move. Here are a few things you need to know before buying a house.
You’ll have to do your own home maintenance
When you’re renting, your landlord is responsible for taking care of maintenance. They come and change your air filters, fix the weather stripping before it gets cold, and fix your toilet when it gets clogged. When you move into your own home, these responsibilities are your own. It’s not just the small things, it’s the big stuff, that you don’t really think about. If a tree falls in your yard and knocks over your fence, you’ll have to pay to fix it. If a pipe bursts, you pay to fix it. You get the idea. This doesn’t mean you can’t afford your new home, but you should always save a portion of your paycheck for these emergencies. It’s not a negotiable part of your budget.
Another aspect of home maintenance that a lot of people gloss over in the home buying process, is the cost to fix up the home when you buy it. Yeah, paint isn’t that expensive, but if you want to redo the kitchen or bathroom, it’s going to cost more than you think it will. You’ll have to pay for the product, but then you’ll also have to pay for the labor, which can easily triple your cost for a project. Include these estimates when considering whether or not you can afford a specific home.
Your mortgage is always a little more expensive than you think it’ll be
If you’ve looked at the price of a house, you’ve probably done some simple math to estimate how much the mortgage will be. I’m here to tell you that, unfortunately, it’s probably going to be more expensive than that. Many mortgage companies will take extra payment to put towards property taxes and home insurance, and if they don’t, you’ll have to pay for that yourself. In addition to that, you also have to factor the interest rate you’re given into how much your monthly payment is going to be.
Your realtor will make or break your experience
Having a realtor is going to be such a big part of your home buying experience, and honestly, going without one can be a huge detriment to what you get out of the sale. Where you may be willing to just accept whatever you’re told by the sellers, your realtor will step in and let you know what is ordinary, what is not, and where you’re being taken care of. They’ll take care of contract negotiations, and as long as you pick a good, well-seasoned realtor, you’ll come out of it with the better end of the deal.
Consider your long term goals
When you buy a house, you’re buying it where you’re at in life now, but you’re also buying it for future you. If you’re pregnant with a child and get a two bedroom home, but then plan on having a second child within a few years, will that be enough room for your family to grow? Are you planning on staying at your current job? Depending on the terms of your mortgage, you may not really pay down any equity within the first 5 to 7 years, and if you think you’ll have to move on before that time is up, you may want to keep looking until you find something that’s a better fit for you.