The start of the new year is a great time to set some big goals. One of your goals for 2019 may very well be to buy a new home. This big goal can be intimidating, especially if you’re a first-time buyer so it’s important to break it down into smaller, actionable steps.
Generally, the first step to buying a home is to meet with a trusted realtor. Your realtor will walk you through the home buying process, explain what’s going on with the market and discuss home options with you. Your realtor can also connect you with a lender if you haven’t done so already. The lender will help you crunch the numbers and figure out exactly how much you can afford.
Once you’ve determined your price-point, you can start the fun part – the home search!
A few things to consider for first-time buyers:
Location. Location. Location!
We really can’t stress this enough. You can build your perfect home anywhere, but you can’t change the location of your lot. Therefore, the location of your home needs to be your very top priority when determining your perfect home.
The school district is important
Even if you don’t have kids yet, it pays to check out a neighborhood’s school district before making a buying decision. Living in areas with blue ribbon schools will raise your property value. This could impact the future resale value of your home.
Don’t spend every dollar you qualify for
By coming down to a lower price-point, you open yourself up to additional options in the market. Saving some dollars will allow you to spend more on decorating and upgrades to really make your home your dream home. This will also allow you to save more each month and lock in a better interest rate.
Don’t forget about taxes
Are your property taxes rolled into your monthly mortgage payment? Or will you be responsible for paying them annually? Keep paperwork for your annual federal or state income tax return. Many times, you can deduct property taxes, points and interest paid on a mortgage.
A low-ball offer doesn’t always pay off
While it seems enticing to come in low, a low-ball offer can be risky for home buyers. You risk the seller not taking your offer seriously and simply rejecting it rather than negotiating with you. Or you risk being outbid by other more competitive buyers. If you find yourself incurring multiple losing bids, a change in bid strategy may be in order. By giving a little bit, you can get a lot in return.