Buying your first home should be one of the most exciting things that you do, but it can also be extremely time consuming and costly. There are a few crucial pointers that first time buyers should consider before diving in head first. Here are five tips to help you on your way to the perfect home.

Stick to your budget:

Before you even start looking and falling in love with properties, it’s important to draw up a realistic budget and stick to it. It is more often than not the case that people begin to search for properties and find “the perfect home” that is however many thousands out of their price range. If you want to be smart with your purchase, you need to be smart with your money. To help you get started, use an online mortgage calculator which will help you to determine a realistic price for a house based on your salary and a 30-year mortgage. As well as the initial costs, make sure that your budget also includes any maintenance costs – failing to do so could leave you in a financially compromising situation.

No negotiations:

Before you start shopping around, also make a short list of your non-negotiable traits. You need to consider the lifestyle you lead and the must-haves in your property. For example, if you’re a huge fan of cooking and couldn’t possibly live without a big kitchen, is this something that you are willing to compromise for 30 years? Probably not. Whether it’s a certain location, a certain room in your house… or even a hot tub, if it’s within your budget then don’t compromise your goals for a quick buy.

Leave it to the experts:

It’s always a good idea to have an experts input into such a big financial commitment. Before you decide on anything, make sure to consult with a property management expert who will offer impartial advice and essentially make your decision a lot easier. If you know where you want to live, it’s also a good idea to try and get a realtor referral. A good realtor and property expert will have a good knowledge of the area you want to live in, they will save you a lot of time and will listen to what you want, rather than what they want to show you.

Compare the market:

Always look at comparable homes in the area to make sure that you are getting the best deal for your property. If you’re looking for a particular estate, apartment block or street, then get a feel for how much the other properties cost and weigh up the difference between what you’re willing to pay. Knowledge is power, so make sure that you get as much information as you possibly can.

Expected closing costs:

Typically, closing costs include the hiring of an estate attorney to look over your buyer-seller agreement to make sure that everything is okay. These costs are to be expected but can vary quite significantly depending on the realtor/ estate agent you use. If you are unsure of any of the charges or prices you are paying, then be sure to consult with a property management expert and question the costs!

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Alice Porter is an avid writer who is passionate about sharing her knowledge for business owners and first time buyers.