Buying your first home can be an exhilarating, empowering experience. You are literally taking ownership of the next phase of your life–and getting some enviable new digs! Still, there is a lot to consider.
Know Your Options
Although putting down 20% on a 30 year mortgage is a typical approach to home buying–it’s not the only way. There are many lenders who will allow you to put down a much smaller down payment or provide loan options with varying terms. Just be savvy and make sure you find someone you can trust. A smaller down payment may be less financially draining now, but could raise your monthly mortgage or result in a PMI. Although the financial aspect can be daunting, knowing and understanding your options early will help to ward off surprises at closing that can really damper the fun.
Think Long Term
Will babies be in your future? You may need to consider what room could become a nursery in a few years or which Frederick schools serve the community you choose. Do you plan to get a dog? Perhaps a fence is a must-have. What about potential career changes? Look for a house near what you need–or that can even host a home office. Unlike apartment living, you’re really committing to love this place long-term and that means anticipating the needs you may have during your tenure in an addition to the ones you have now.
Most first-time home buyers learn the fine art of compromise. It’s unlikely you will find a home that checks off every box–so it’s important to make a list of priorities ranked by necessity. Maybe you’d love to have a fireplace but you can’t live without a garage. Do you need bigger bedrooms or do you anticipate a big crowd around your kitchen island? Evaluate your lifestyle and focus on the big items that will serve you best. Remember that things like paint, flooring or fixtures can be changed to suit your style more easily than the big stuff.
Most people think of a single-family home when envisioning their big purchase. However, for some people, the low-maintenance of a townhome or condo can be really appealing. As you adjust to homeownership, the amenities of these communities can be a big draw.
Know the Process
This is where it is great to have a reliable agent! The homebuying process is long–you’ll need to get preapproved for your loan, search for a great property and make an attractive offer. But, that’s just the first hurdle. A good agent will answer all of your questions to get you under contract but an excellent agent will be there to answer all of your questions through the due diligence including home inspection, choosing homeowners insurance, and negotiating repairs. From start to finish, a good agent will be patient and thorough. We at Evolution Home Group, would love to guide you through the exciting and rewarding process of buying your first home!