After many months or maybe years, you have finally decided to buy your own home. You have pinched every penny to save up a sizeable down payment. You have made open houses a weekend ritual but still can’t seem to make the leap into purchasing a home. Why not??
Maybe you’re comfortable in your current space. You have accepted the shortcomings of where you live whether it is loud neighbours or no parking readily available. Not many surprises since you have been there so long.
First time home buyers tend to freeze up when it comes time to actually picking a house. Will they be happy there? Will they like their neighbours? Will they be tied down because they are now house rich and cash poor? What happens if their financial situation changes for the worse? Basically, the fear of the unknown becomes a constant nagging in their ear and prevents them from moving on towards purchasing their dream home.
Here are some steps to try and then maybe you can take the leap to home-ownership:
- Get comfortable with your finances: Make sure you sit down and go over all of your current finances and the new ones that will occur with home ownership. Things like property taxes, home owners insurance, commuting to work and cost of utilities should be factored into your monthly expenses to make sure you are buying within your limit.
- Partner with a Realtor: You need to pair up with a knowledgeable realtor. Even though the internet will allow you to do lots of research on your own, you can’t get the low down on a property without help from a realtor. They will be able to answer questions you will have and give you the inside scoop on the property. They will also help you write an offer and make sure you get a good deal.
- Accept some risk: There is uncertainty in everything about life, you just need to deal with it. Learn from people you know that have purchased a home. Find out their mistakes and what to look for. Make sure you don’t drain your bank account with purchasing the home, keep a safety net in case of emergency.
- Fine tune your “must-haves”: Make your list of “must haves” in your new home. A garage, the neighborhood, size and layout of the home, and anything else you feel is important and that you can’t live without. You may find that you are willing to sacrifice one feature, if the rest is fabulous. If you are not crazy about the house, don’t bid. It is important you love the home you are bidding on, after all you will be living there for some time.
- Be ready to bid: Great homes and prices don’t stay around for long. If you love the home, have your realtor help you make an appropriate bid. If you are wavering, ask yourself, “How will I feel if I don’t get this house?” You might just get it, and if not, at least you’ll you know you tried.
- Find an experienced Mortgage Professional: Sit down with an experienced mortgage professional and have them help you analyze your options for financing your new home. Finding the right mortgage can be as important as finding the right home. Make sure you clearly understand what type of mortgage you are getting. Ask as many questions as you need too until you are absolutely clear on the type of financing you are applying for. Remember, you are the one paying back the mortgage.
I hope this pushes all of you “on the fence” home buyers “off the fence” and into the home of your dreams. Happy House Hunting.