Finding Your Dream Home: Tips for First-Time Buyers
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Published by TOP4 Team
Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your lifetime. Aside from the huge financial considerations, you also will most likely need to deal with the emotional component of the entire experience. For most people, having the opportunity for home ownership represents various milestones: passing a rite of passage to adulthood, seeing a physical proof of your hard work, and being rewarded with a sense of comfort and security from knowing that you finally have a place you can call your own.
With all these practical and symbolic implications that come with home buying, it’s not so surprising why many first-timers find the process overwhelming. It’s a natural reaction, because you will want to buy no less than your dream home, but it shouldn’t cloud your decision-making abilities. Make sure you sign the contract with clarity and an informed perspective with the help of the following tips:
Ensure your financial capability first and foremost. Arm yourself with a calculator and a good formula for figuring out whether it’s realistic for you to afford that property you have fallen in love with. A traditional rule of thumb is to make sure your repayments should not exceed 35 percent of your monthly income, but you can also seek other formulas that apply specifically to your situation. Moreover, don’t just look at the purchase price. Factor in other associated expenses such as heating and cooling consumption that the property might require, maintenance for the lawn or garden or pool, and other expenses that can add up to the overall cost.
Use tech for a more powerful search. When you’re making a high-ticket purchase, it pays to have an accurate knowledge of your options. With the help of your real estate agent, investigate the available properties in your chosen neighbourhood according to your budget and preferences. Utilise online sites that let you easily search for properties according to specific filters such as area, size, price, type of property, etc. and help you “snoop” around the area by providing statistics such as crime rate, employment opportunities or business potential. Try online tools and calculators that let you compare pricing and home values. Take advantage of virtual photo tours and online video tours that allow you to view the property via the convenience of your smartphone or computer.
Think long term. When buying a home, knowing the state of the current market can provide you a stronger negotiation position. However, it’s critical to have a view of the future as well. Is the location an area you see yourself living in the several years to come? Will the property be able to grow and evolve with you as the needs of the household grows? For instance, will it provide ample space for your growing family, and can you see yourself upgrading the home after all the children has left the nest?
Find the right timing. When you finally find what you believe is your home “match,” experts say it’s best to give yourself some time first, preferably away from the property, before you make the offer. However, make sure to act decisively as well, because there’s a chance that another buyer might snap up the home before you do. How do you determine the right timing? Educate yourself on what’s happening in the market. Listen to your gut feel, and don’t hesitate to seek help from a trusted expert.