Congratulations if you have made the big decision to purchase your first home! You might receive a lot of advice along your home buying journey from family, friends, and strangers. Here are a few great tips to follow from the real estate professionals at Homes for Heroes to help you become a homeowner.
Get Your Finances Figured Out
Let’s start with this one because it is the most important. When you first consider buying a house, go to a lender to see what you can afford. They will look at your gross income-debt ratio and give you a pre-approval amount, but that number is not necessarily the amount you can afford.
Your lender won’t take into consideration your taxes, medical insurance, utilities or grocery bill, so make sure you can afford your monthly house payments once you buy your home. If you don’t have one already, download a monthly budget planner and figure out how much money you spend a month. Using that amount, you can determine how much of a house payment you can afford.
If your numbers don’t match up with those of the lender, A Homes for Heroes Lending Specialist can assist you with this step. If you haven’t yet, Sign up to speak with one in your area. Let them answer your questions about your budget and the home loan you can realistically afford and save some money while you’re at it!
Research Grants and Other Sources of Funding
As a hero who gives to your community, there are various programs and opportunities for you to receive help in the form of funding, mortgage assistance, and cash back options when you purchase a home.
Many of these opportunities are compatible with Homes for Heroes, so talk with your local Homes for Heroes Real Estate Specialist to find out programs for which you are eligible. They can help you get the most for your money.
Make a Checklist
Before you even look at houses online, sit down with your spouse, family, or good friend who is willing to help you make this decision. As you see on almost every home-buying show, you need a list of must-haves, nice-to-haves, and other essentials.
As you look at different houses, you will see homes that have something you didn’t realize you wanted, as well as homes that are missing items you thought you wanted, but now you’re not so sure. Take your list with you and change it as needed. Although it’s changeable, it is necessary. Checklists make your home-buying adventure a less stressful one, helping you to step back and look at a house without the emotional piece that makes you say, “Ooh, blue paint and shutters, I have to have THIS one!”
Learn About the Neighborhood
We’re just going to out on a limb and seriously recommend our services for this one. You absolutely need a real estate specialist that knows the town you’re buying in like the back of their hand, especially if you’re moving to a new area.
Our specialists are absolute experts in their local market- they will know exactly which neighborhoods to avoid, which ones have the best resale value, and which ones have the best schools. If you haven’t signed up yet to speak with a specialist, now is a good time! Just click here, enter the information and you will get a call (and it’s free, don’t worry).
Consider Re-Sale Value and Long-Term
When it comes to deciding to buy a home, the first thing we want to do is to go online and start searching for houses. As you do that, consider the value of the house now, but also the value of the home in the future. If you purchase a house on a busy street or in a low-scoring school district, think about the price you will get if you sell the house in ten years. In that case, some buyers, such as families with school-aged children, won’t be interested.
You also want to think about your goals for the future. Do you have kids? Are you planning on having children in the future? Make sure your first home is a home that you can grow into, or you’ll be finding yourself searching for a second home before long.
Don’t Fall for the Staging
You’d be surprised at the price people will pay for professional stagers when selling a house. It works and is worth it, at least to the seller. As a buyer, look beyond the pretty furniture and artwork to what is behind all of that. As you walk through, turn on all the light switches, and check electrical outlets. Bring a flashlight, and tape measure, as well as a night-light or something you can plug in to test electrical currents. You don’t want to purchase a house with electrical issues.
Read the Contracts
If you’re looking at an HOA, ask to see the contract. Some people purchase an abode with the thought of renting it out in the future, only to find out that their HOA states that renting houses is not allowed. With HOAs, make sure you know what you are paying for and what you are not. It will save you legal headaches in the end.
A house purchase is one of the most significant financial steps you can take, so make sure you understand the terms of your contract before signing it. If there is something you don’t understand, talk about it with your mortgage lender and real estate agent. They can help you make sound decisions with all things regarding a house purchase.
Again- don’t hesitate to speak with one of our specialists to assist you in the homebuying process. We know it’s a scary process sometimes, we’re here to help you and save you a lot of money along the way!