3 Tips For First Time Home Buyers
Buying your first home is a major event in most people's lives. If you are about to set off on this adventure either by yourself or with a loved one, you likely have a checklist ready of all of the different features you are looking for in your first house and probably can't wait to get started. But before you start heading off to open houses, there are a number of things you can do in advance of the actual house searching to make the entire process go more smoothly. Here are three tips that every first time home buyer should keep in mind.
Check Your Credit Report First
You've likely been saving up some money for the down payment on your first home, but if you're like most people, you're still going to need to get financing to move forward with this purchase. To that end, one of the most important things you can do as a first time home buyer is to pull your entire credit report and go over it in detail. Even if you believe you have great credit, it's possible that a credit agency has made a mistake somewhere on your report. You don't want the bank you are applying for a mortgage with to find this error and start questioning you about something that you didn't actually do. Make sure your credit history is up to date before talking to any lenders.
Create a Budget With Everything, Not Just the Mortgage
So you checked your credit history and now you've managed to get approved for a loan for your first house. That's a good start, but there's still some paperwork you're going to want to take care of before you actually view your first home. It can be incredibly beneficial to start your house hunting with a specific budget already written down in detail. This budget will obviously include the mortgage payment, but there are a lot of other expenses to keep in mind. Homeowners' insurance is a big one, but don't forget to factor in things like utilities bills and property taxes. Then, keep all of these numbers in mind while you are touring various houses and make sure that everything will fall within your set guidelines.
Start With an Area or Community, Then Look for Houses
Finally, finding your dream home won't feel as great as it should if you realize after the fact that the house is located in an area that doesn't have the high-quality school district you were hoping to send your future children to. When beginning to hunt for houses, it's better to take a step back and look at overall communities first and then try to find available houses within those communities instead of just going to any random house. Find an area with the right amenities and services for you and your family to make sure you will be happy not just while you're at home but while you're out and about as well.
Before you go to your first open house, get your finances in order by checking your credit history and creating a budget of everything that you will have to pay on a monthly basis including often-forgotten budget items like property taxes. If you need help finding a community that has the right amenities and services available for you and your children, talk to a local real estate agent to start narrowing down your list of options.