First-time homebuyers are often extremely excited – and a bit nervous – about going on the hunt for their first-ever home. As long as things are done right, homebuyers will be happy at the end of the house hunt. However, it is possible for things to go terribly wrong and mistakes to be made resulting in homebuyers living in their worst nightmare. Here are three tips that will help first-time homebuyers to make an informed decision and to help jump-start this process in the right direction:
1. Your Monthly Costs vs. the Purchase Price
Most first-time buyers only look at the initial purchase price (asking price of the seller) of a home rather than looking at the bigger picture. There are a lot of costs involved when it comes to buying a home that people do not take into consideration. Some of these costs include a down payment, inspection expenses, closing costs, realtor fees, annual property taxes, homeowners' insurance, and HOA fees (which may be monthly or annual).
So, with all that being said, before you purchase a home, make sure that you consider all of the associated fees. You may find that you can afford the mortgage payment each month, but the property taxes and insurance premiums are simply too much for you to afford.
2. Develop a List of Must-Haves
When it comes to purchasing a home, you want to find that perfect home. Unfortunately, that dream home is hard to find. And, if you are lucky enough to find it, it is usually well out of your price range. So, rather than search for that perfect home, simply sit down before you go house-hunting and make a list of a few things that you want to make sure that your house has.
For example, if you have children that play a lot of sports or a husband that comes home filthy from work and often tracks mud, dirt, or other filth through the house, you may want to put down on your must-have list a "mud room." This will allow the family to take their shoes off and clean up a bit prior to entering the main part of the house. Another example would be an independent laundry room rather than the washer and dryer needing to be included inside of the kitchen.
3. City vs. Country Life
It is very different to live inside the city than it is to live in the countryside. Living in the city means that you are going to be right in the middle of everything. You will be near all the stores and close to the hospital in the event of an emergency. At the same time, though, it is going to be pretty noisy and you are going to be living in neighborhoods where homes are pretty close to one another, which may not be a good thing if you enjoy your privacy or work from home.
If you don't mind the drive, are interested in having farm animals, and/or work from home, then you may want to consider purchasing a home in the country. Ultimately, you just need to consider your personality as well as the home's surroundings prior to committing to a purchase.