Buying a house is a serious matter. There are many factors one has to consider when they are planning to buy a house. Due to the massive responsibilities that come with owning a home, it’s a good idea to know what you are getting yourself into. This is definitely a life decision you want to sit down for and list out all the things and factors that come with owning a home. This way you know if you are ready for this grand responsibility.
Here are some things that you should go over before buying a house:
1. Understand the responsibilities of owning a house
This mainly applies to people who are buying a house for the first time. Buying a new house is not always white and black. There are many different things that come into play and there is a lot to be considered. Research is the most important part and it plays a major role into the purchase of a new home. Once the research has been done and you have a better understanding of the process, it is strongly recommended that you speak with a HUD counselor, lawyer or Realtor. As a homeowner you should know exactly what your rights are.
2. Talk with a mortgage expert to get pre-approved for a loan
The loan pre-approval step is a more thorough eligibility process than the pre-qualification. A pre-qualification just tells a Realtor that you are very determined about buying a house. It’s not a very detailed process at all. But the pre-approval step tells everyone involved that you are financially ready to purchase a new home.
By doing this pre-approval step it will give you more purchase power because the seller will be confident that you are financially stable and fit to make such a large purchase. This process means that the bank or mortgage lender will be granted access to all your finances, your assets, as well as your liabilities and debt. This step will also help you by informing you to the financing options that are available to you in today’s market.
3. It is all about location
If you know where you want to live and where you want to be, you should definitely think about what your lifestyle is like and how you want it to be. Will you need to commute to a nearby larger city? Do you have or will you have children that will need to get to school? Would you want to live in a suburb or in the city? Would you prefer to have a smaller home in a more expensive town or a larger home a bit further away?
These are all important things that you may want to take into consideration. If you are new to a town maybe the best thing would be to rent for 6 months to a year in order to accustom yourself with your new location and your new surroundings before making such a concrete decision like buying a house. You don’t want to end up with buyers remorse after buying a house in a town where your life there was not what you were expecting. You should really take the time to get to know the place that you’re living in before making a big purchase that you may end up regretting.
4. The kind of house you want
Once you have thought about where you want to live and are happy about that location, you need to figure out what it is exactly that you want to have in your house. Do you want a newer house with all the modern conveniences or an older house with some character that you can work on and renovate over the years? Do you want a large yard for children and pets that you know you can keep up with, or would you prefer something requiring less maintenance so you won’t have to spend your weekends mowing and keeping up with grass?
There are many things you have to consider when it comes to what you want in a house. Do you want a fireplace? Is the house kid friendly? Is it large enough to entertain and have parties? You should definitely make a list of all your home “must-haves”. You probably won’t find all the things you want in one house, but as you look at all the potential homes you can start to prioritize which of these must-haves are truly necessary and which ones you can do without. Be open to suggestions from your Realtor.
5. Hit the road
Once you have done all your research on the internet and found some houses that meet your criteria it’s time to get off that computer and go see these houses in person. It’s important to always go out and see these houses for yourself because pictures don’t always capture everything. An agent may have taken photos of the house that just don’t do it justice. So the only way to know for sure if a house is right for you is to go out and see it for yourself.
Have your agent to show you houses that meet your standards and must-haves as well as those that may be almost there. Often agents will have suggestions that you might not have picked or even thought of but now may be worth considering. Public open houses are another wonderful resource that you should definitely take advantage of. If you do attend an open house, it’s very important to let the host know that you are already working with an agent.