As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing
First Time Home Buyer Part 2
Last week I shared 4 tips to help you succeed as a first-time home buyer. This week I am revealing my final 4 out 8 suggestions for you to consider as you are in the hunt for the perfect home to call your own!
#5 - Do your homework
Never underestimate the power of doing your homework! This process doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and energy. Look at everything! And I don't just mean look at everything in your budget. Take a look all over the map. Go to open houses that are way over your budget; although; I would not recommend telling the listing agent that your actual budget is lower. Seeing houses in a variety of ranges will help you to access a good value for your budget.
Get to know the good and bad areas of town. Sometimes there are little pockets in an area that you may not have considered but could be exactly what you are looking for. Spend some time driving around the area you want to live in. For instance, an area touted for a great place for young families may add another 30 minutes onto your commute. Isn’t that worth it?
#6 - Prepare for the worst
You should know that it isn't smart to buy more than you can afford. In fact you should be able to budget in some savings. You never know when a pipe is going to burst. That being said, stuff happens. You can prepare for the worst all day and night, but at some point it doesn't do any good to keep stressing out. Don’t over analyze everything. In the end, it is a risk. Life happens. Prepare for the worst, but don’t drive yourself crazy.
#7 - Know when to tune out the input
When it comes to buying a house, EVERYONE is going to offer advice. It gets old quick. After a while, you just have to tune it all out. Parents are just trying to helpful, but sometimes they just don't know when to quit, it’s in their nature! Then there are those people that think it's funny to say "oh the joys of home ownership". You know when you keep saying "uh-huh" and "ya, of course", while you really have no idea what they just said.
That's not to say I didn't ask or want advice from people. I did! I asked almost everyone I know including parents, coworkers, friends, our agents, etc. I'm the kind of person that wants to hear all the horror stories, the "I wish I would have..." stories, and the "I'm glad I did..." tidbits. I want to hear it all, but then I want to decide for myself. Do your research, and in the end it is your house. You are the one that has to live in it every day.
#8 - Know when to walk away
It can be so exciting when you finally find that house where you can see yourself living, starting a family, and where you can generally feel at home. When you finally find a good fit, you want it to work out more than anything. Sometimes however, you have to walk away. There is a limit to every budget, and it is different with every buyer. Unless the home you are looking at is brand new, there are going to be things that come up during the inspection, but you have to learn where the line is rather than getting in over your head with a new sewer line that you really can't afford. Often the seller will fix major issues that come up before closing especially if they badly want to sell their property, but if they aren't willing to budge, it is important to know what is too much to handle.
So that's it. First time home buying is full of ups and downs, but fingers crossed, it will all be worth it when you get those keys!
Sam Lepore is a Realtor with Keller Williams in Moorestown, NJ. Call him today at 856.297.6827 ....