Pearls of Wisdom for First-Time Home Buyers

The financial climate is becoming considerably less hostile than it has been over the past decade and now more people are looking to buy their first house. This should be a joyous experience and a milestone in your adult life, but it’s important to prepare for all the turbulence that comes with the process.

There will be unplanned life events that get in the way and unexpected costs that set you back financially, but the best way to overcome this is to make sure that you are organized and well prepared.

Here are some of the best tips to follow to ensure that your experience runs more smoothly and is a more memorable experience. 

Draw up a budget, and stick to it

Before you begin your search, you need to compile a realistic budget based on your annual salary assigned to the property and also the amount you are willing to pay.

It’s important that the budget you set yourself is completely realistic and accounts for all of the added costs, such as the home repairs that need to be made.  More often than not, first-time buyers massively underestimate the costs that are attached to purchasing a house.

Living within your means is a great way to make a smart and sustainable purchase that you can build on and develop over time. Don’t allow yourself to succumb to the manipulation of a sales purchase. If you do not feel 100 percent certain on the property, don’t spend any money on it. 

A great way to be sure that you are making a smart purchase is to use an online mortgage calculator, as this will give you a clear indication of how much you are able to spend on your new home – this will be based on your annual budget set against a 30-year mortgage.

List your non-negotiables

Everybody has the perfect image of what their home should look like in their mind. It’s important to create a list of features in a home that are essential, i.e. a bathtub, and features that are more of a bonus, i.e. a swimming pool.

Before you allow yourself to fall in love with certain properties you find, it’s important to make sure that you know where the boundaries lie. Whatever the non-negotiable traits for your new property, do not compromise.

Making such a large financial investment means that you must be living in your idealistic property. A great example of this is if you are really passionate about cooking and baking and require a large kitchen, do not settle or let yourself be talked into having a small kitchen.

Don't skip the home inspection

It's tempting. You love the look and feel of the place, but you haven't really taken a peek to see what's under the hood, yet.

Don't skip out on this essential step. Familiarize yourself with all of the important questions that you need to ask about the wiring, emergency shut-off options for water and gas lines, and more.

Consult with the experts

Seeking advice and gathering information is always a necessity when committing to a big financial investment. Be sure to consult with somebody who will offer you unbiased and expert advice, such as a property management expert. This opinion can really help to guide you to your dream home.

Oh, and if your panel of experts tells you to hold off on buying, listen to them. You don't want to make an exorbitant purchase that you could have saved money on, particularly if you're about to buy during a seller's market.

Anticipate closing costs

One of the most unanticipated added expenses is the closing costs involved with buying a property. This is something that most first time buyers do not account for in their overall purchasing budget.

These costs are commonly inclusive of any estate attorney fees, to look over the buyer-seller agreement to make sure that everything is in order and running smoothly.

Sometimes you can negotiate with the sellers so they cover part of the closing costs, but if you're in a competitive buying market then be prepared to shoulder the closing costs yourself. They usually fall in the range of two to five percent of the total price of the home.

Never underestimate moving day

After the long process of buying your first home, it’s a wonderful feeling getting your keys and unlocking the door. In this excitement, it can be easy to forget how stressful and detail-oriented moving to another house can be.

On your first night, everything is still going to be in boxes, but be sure to pack a box labeled “first-night necessities” to ensure that your first evening in your new property will be enjoyable and slightly less stressful.

Alice Porter is an avid writer who specializes in commercial property management in Manchester, she enjoys sharing her knowledge with like-minded individuals and assisting first-time buyers.