When buying a home for the first time, it’s only natural that you will feel plenty of trepidation around the process. It’s often the largest investment that we make in our lives, and it’s important that you get it right. However, buying your first ever home is rife with pitfalls that could cause you a lot of stress and strife. If you would like to avoid such issues, then you should look to try and work out the key issues before taking any steps further.
Before you sign on the dotted line, then, we recommend that you consider the following…
1. Check Your Credit & Pause New Activity
The first thing you need to do is make sure you are in a good position with regards to your credit rating. This means taking the time to close up any debts that you already owe, and ensuring that you are in good credit health. This means accurate repayment both in time and in date will become essential.
Also, you need to make sure that you pause any new activities. Hold off in investing in any new credit cards or similar: if you take on any more loans or debt, then even applying can look bad on your credit history as you go through that first-time mortgage process.
2. Determine How Much You Can Afford
It’s important to work out how much you will be shelling out on the mortgage itself. Take the time to work with your partner or significant other to work out what kind of money you both bring in. Be conservative, though; if one of you is self-contracted, don’t estimate your wages for the best month, but the average or even worst month.
If one of your party is always having to change jobs or move around due to the precarious nature of your employment, a factor that in. We recommend that you take the time to look into the price of your mortgage on a monthly basis. For example, you could use a mortgage calculator and find out what you will be expected to pay if you were to take on the mortgage that you had intended.
3. Hire the Right Buyer’s Agent
The person that you work with to get a mortgage put through and to buy that home for the first time is so important. It’s about hiring someone who can listen to your needs, who is not full of pushy upselling tactics and who is happy to let you follow your own dream.
Don’t sign up with a single agency until you do some research. Ask around, get some referrals and see what others appear to think of their qualities as an expert. Make sure you never just jump in with both feet: working with the wrong agency can become a costly expense.
You should definitely look to hire the right agent, though, as the right agency makes the first-time home buying a far more comfortable experience overall.
4. Save for Your Down Payment Early
No matter how good the mortgage terms you can get are, you will need to put down a payment – and it can sometimes be quite a lot of money. This is why we recommend that you start making more savings today: the less than you spend now, the quicker you can afford that mortgage as soon as is possible.
It won’t be fun, and it will mean not being able to spend your money or do much with your time when you start saving up. Done right, though, you can enjoy a much easier home buying process when you have the downpayment money ready to go.
5. Research Homeowner’s Insurance
Regardless of the deal, though one of the best things that you can do is invest some time and money into finding quality homeowner’s insurance. This is so important as it can play a very crucial role in making sure you get a deal that you can afford.
When factoring in all of your monthly costs etc. don’t forget about this important insurance. While it is another added expense, the benefits of paying it will far outweigh any of the perceived excesses in cost.
6. Determine How Much Mortgage is Required
The next part of the process is going to be around making sure you can get the mortgage just right. Taking on a mortgage is a lot of work, and it means knowing exactly how much you are likely going to be paying before you can commit to the project in full.
7. Finalize the Location
Now that you know exactly what you are looking for and how much you will pay, it’s time to finalize the location. Take those key last looks at the essential parts of the mortgage, and make sure that you are 100% happy to continue onward.
If you want to make that first-time house buying process work out just right, then it pays to stick to the ideas that we have set out here. Done right, this can make what is often a fraught and arduous process much easier to follow along with.
About the Author:
Sean Price is a community manager at RightSwitch, he has a passion for web design and user experience and when not working enjoys rugby, cycling and swimming.