Are you thinking of buying a home? There’s good news for you: 2019 is predicted to be a buyer’s real estate market.But that doesn’t mean you can’t use some advice when it comes to buying a home. No matter what kind of real estate market we’re in here is six rules for buying a house that every prospective homeowner needs to know about.
1. Don’t Buy Unless You Can Afford It
Not everyone can afford to buy a home. Most mortgages require that you put down between 10 and 20 percent of the property’s purchase price. Anything less than the minimum makes you subject to additional fees, as you’re seen as a high-risk borrower that could default on the loan.
And buying the house is just the beginning. Once you’re handed the keys, you need to worry about the cost of repairs, renovations, and home improvement ideas. Anything can break down and require maintenance or replacing at a moment’s notice.
You need to calculate your monthly expenses such as groceries, insurance, utilities, entertainment, student loans, car payments, and subscriptions to determine how much house you can afford. You also need to have a savings safety net in place in case you lose your job so you can continue making mortgage payments.
Create a budget, sock away as much as possible into savings, and make sure your credit score is high before you even think about buying a house.
Alternatively, it may be more affordable for you to buy or rent an apartment versus a house depending upon your expenses and where you want to live. Compare the pros and cons of buying an apartment before you decide that you really want to purchase a house.
2. Choose A Good Real Estate Agent
Don’t be tempted to call the first real estate agent you come across. Do your research into several agents. Interview them, find out how well they know the neighborhoods you’re considering, and learn about the terms of their legal contract.
Referrals are also a great way to find a good agent who has your best interests in mind. Some agents also specialize in working with elderly home buyers or first-time buyers. Choose one that is a good match for your needs.
3. Don’t Fall In Love With A Home Too Quickly
Buying a home is a little like dating. You may think you’ve found the love of your life—or in this case, the house of your dreams—that ticks off all the boxes of your checklist.
But there’s always the chance the seller may not accept your offer and sell it to someone else. Or the inspection may uncover something that makes the property unsuitable for residence without major repairs. In these instances, you can end up with a broken heart if you convinced yourself the house was meant to be yours.
So don’t get your hopes up too high and fall in love with home too quickly. Remind yourself that when the time is right, everything will fall into place and you’ll be able to buy the right property that makes your heart sing.
4. Don’t Buy Unless You Plan On Sticking Around
Buying a home is an investment. To ensure you get the best return on that investment, you need to live in the home long enough to pay back a significant portion of your mortgage. You also want your home to sell for the same or ideally, a higher price than what you originally paid for it.
If your future is unsettled and you’re thinking you may not want to stay in your area in the foreseeable future, hold off on buying a home.
5. Know How To Make An Offer
Knowing how to make an offer on the home you have in mind is a balancing act. You don’t want to low ball the seller, but you also don’t want to offer too high a price when you could have gotten the offer accepted for less.
A good real estate agent can give you guidance for your starting price offer. Understand that you can set contingencies such as if the inspection finds something you don’t want to deal with. Contingencies are the safety net that let you change your mind and walk away from the home.
And if you really love the property, it doesn’t hurt to let the current homeowner know by including a house offer letter with your offer. This is your chance to make an emotional connection with the seller that could win them over.
6. Be Prepared For the Upkeep
As mentioned earlier, buying a home isn’t over once the paperwork has been signed. Living in a home long-term requires dealing with maintaining its appearance and equipment that powers parts of your home. This means making sure you have money set aside for a new roof, furnace, driveway, or to make repairs to plumbing or electrical wiring.
But in addition to being prepared to pay for homeowner emergencies, there’s something else you need to know about owning a home: some of your free time is now going to be spent taking care of it.
If you’re used to living in an apartment complex where snow removal was taken care of by your apartment’s management, it can be a shock to realize you now need to clear your driveway yourself. You’re also going to find yourself devoting more of your free time to mowing the lawn, trimming shrubs, cleaning a pool, and more.
In other words, becoming a homeowner often means making a lifestyle change that you need to brace for. You need to take this into consideration when deciding if buying a home right now is right for you.
Know The Rules For Buying A House
Knowing these rules for buying a house can help you have much greater success with the most important purchase of your life. Taking the time to save your money, research neighborhoods you’re interested in and wait until you’ve found the right home will result in many years of enjoying life as a homeowner.
And when you do move into the home sweet home, don’t forget to come back to Discuss Buzz to read up on our latest home improvement posts that can spruce up your residence.