Buying a house is without a doubt an enviable step in one’s life. It signifies maturity and is generally considered the hallmark of adulthood. Your new house will also fall under the bracket of your most prized possessions and personal investments. On the flip side, buying a home can be an overwhelming and scary step, but these five steps will make home ownership an easy task.
1. Research Early and Thoroughly
The best way to find a home is through estate listings, regardless if it’s through a large search engine like Zillow, or your local newspaper. Contacting the agents in charge becomes easy, and with the technological sector ever advancing, you can even receive a video of the premises before visiting the area.
Early research is vital as it gives you enough time to make a solid decision. Considering that you and your family will inhabit the house for years to come, your choice hinges heavily on the neighborhood, space, décor, state of the art appliances, and payment plans just to mention a few. Good research will help you have options to consider and make your decision simple because it will present you with all the necessary facts.
2. Pick a Reputable Agent
While conducting some research will provide you with a variety of options and insight into housing trends, an agent will be spot on regarding the market value. Many people undervalue their previous homes while moving into a new one and end up losing out on a lot of money. Meet with one or two agents and ask for a full evaluation of your home and the one you intend to occupy.
The market value in the housing sector is always changing partly due to the erection of new buildings that turn small towns to economic strongholds. This rise in status causes a spike in house prices as more people throng the new financial hub in search of business opportunities and better facilities.
Also, an agent can offer excellent negotiation skills, knowledge of the ownership process, and recommendations if you present them with the idea of the home you wish to buy.
3. Insist on a Home Inspection Certificate
In most instances, the seller adds a home inspection clause to the contract before handing you the keys to your new house. However, it is wise to ensure that either you or your agent are directly involved in the home inspection process. If you do not trust the people the seller has hired, you can always ask to have personal trusted home inspectors check for structural damage and the likes.
The report they give back to you can help you renegotiate your contract, but more importantly, the seller will have to fix all the damage discovered. Before closing the deal, ensure that you have a walkthrough of the house to affirm that the damages were repaired and also see if there is anything that the inspectors might have missed.
4. Choose a Mortgage Plan
Homeowners choose their mortgage based on three things; low monthly installments, fixed monthly payments, and time until next possible relocation. There are all sorts of mortgages to cater for your home ownership needs. However, the most common are fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages.
A fixed mortgage maintains the same interest until you finish paying for the home while an adjustable mortgage has a fluctuating interest rate. The fluctuation is caused by the economic index which may shift as much as twice every year. Choose the mortgage that is in line with your financial capabilities.
5. Calculate Home Ownership Cost
Lastly, before choosing the house you wish to occupy, you need to calculate the costs you will incur. Moving into the house is one thing and maintaining it is another. Adding to the mortgage will be costs such as lawn maintenance, furniture, décor, utilities, and transportation just to mention a few.
With the total budget on paper, you will be able to see where you can make adjustments and save more. Also, you will have an overall glimpse of how life in your new house will be in a month, a year, or the next five years. Also, give your budget room to grow; seeing that you can never have a fixed budget for kids, the budget you come up with will only be an estimate of the total cost.
Home ownership is a step towards growth. Whether circumstantial or out of your free will, you need to be sure before crossing that bridge. Follow the tips above to avoid making a mistake you will have to live with, literally.
Elizabeth is on the content team for Dynasty Partners, which builds high quality, architecturally rich homes with innovated designs. She enjoys decorating homes, hiking, hanging out with her family, and volunteering at the animal shelter in Des Moines, Iowa